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Pablo Picasso


Carsten-Peter

Warncke

Pablo Picasso 1881-1973

TASCHEN KOLN LONDON MADRID NEW YORK PARIS TOKYO


Illustration Page

2:

Pablo Picasso with bread fingers

Photograph by Robert Doisneau Vallauris, Villa La Galloise, 1952

© 2001 TASCHEN GmbH Hohenzollemring

$j.

D-50672 Koln

www.taschcn.com

©

Succession Picasso

/

VG

Bild-Kunst.

Bonn 1997

Edited by Ingo F. Walthcr, Ailing

Produced by Julianc Steinbrecher. Cologne English translation b) Michael Hulse, Cologne <

OVCl design b\ Angchk.i List hen.

Printed in South Kore.i

ISBN 5-8228-7221-0

Cologne


Contents

6

Picasso the Legend

1890 - 1901

10

The

30

The Blue and Rose Periods 1901 - 1906

60

Cubism 1906 -

94

Classicism and Surrealism 1916 - 1936

144

War, Art and

192 The 232

Early Years

1915

Politics

Man and

Pablo Picasso:

the

A

1937 - 1953

Myth 1954 - 1973 Chronology


Picasso the Legend

1

Picasso

not just a

is

most a myth.

man and

In the public

of genius in modern

is

always a legend, indeed

al-

is

an

idol,

one of those

who

rare creatures

which the diverse and often chaotic phenomena of culture

act as crucibles in

who seem

are focussed,

Picasso

art.

work. Picasso

his

view he has long since been the personification

to

body

one per-

forth the artistic life of their age in

The same thing happens in politics, science, sport. And it happens in art. Even idols, of course, are subject to change. They come and go. Some, however, remain untouched by time and become classics; and one such is son.

Picasso. Just as

now seems

it

inconceivable that a Michelangelo or

Rem-

brandt, a Caesar or Napoleon, an Einstein or Galileo should ever be forgotten, so too

from

seems impossible

it

Indeed, even in his ing

still

own

Now, twenty

artist.

gone down

name of Picasso should ever vanish

all

lifetime Picasso

was already

years after his death, his artistic

in history, his

possess

Like

that the

sight.

fame

is

as secure as ever,

their charismatic fascination for

all classics,

Picasso

is

for

on him. For

that,

he

is still

any other

field

succeeding generations.

it is

impossible to pass easy ver-

Much that needs accounting Those who become idols, in art as in

cerns. Picasso the classic merits sociological scrutiny:

himself would be a marginal figure

know more about how

details of his works,

assess the Picasso subject, but there

There

Pencil on paper, 34 x 26.8

Maya

cm

Ruiz-Picasso Collection

in the resulting study.

It

fully.

A great

artists, in

he

also be

most assuredly

order to

deal has been written on this

no remotely comprehensive overview. is

would

that

Picasso's pioneering innovations, and the

phenomenon is

much projections own personal con-

one imagines

have affected and influenced other

of these ancillary matters Picasso's

I

at least as

of society's wishes and ideas as the embodiment of their

to

Age of 36, 1917 age de trente-six ans

Self-Portrait at the Autoportrait a

of endeavour, do not do so purely on the strength of their

achievements. Idols are social phenomena, and

good

work and person

his

too close to us.

remains subject to speculation.

still

liv-

reviewed by the judgement of following periods.

But unlike some of the greats of earlier eras, dicts

and

most famous

the

achievement has

And what

is

true

true of the heart of the matter,

art. is

no doubt

that the reason for the

massive global pull of Picasso,

the reason

why crowds flock to why millions buy books

exhibitions of his

reason

about him, the reason

widely

felt, is

work year

why

is

in

year out, the

impact

is

so

quite simply the sheer exceptional diversity of his work. Pi-

casso was pre-eminent as painter and graphic talented craftsman and stage set designer.

artist,

as sculptor,

many-

The mere scope of his output

it all, and his tens of thousands makes it next to impossible to of works have not yet all been catalogued, described, analysed, or indeed

engage with

Self-portrait with a Palette, 1906

Autoportrait a la palette Oil on canvas, 92 x 73

cm

Philadelphia (PA), Philadelphia

of Art, A. E. Gallatin Collection

Museum


even made accessible,

in

every case, to

critical scrutiny

or to the public eye.

Whatever we say about Picasso must remain provisional for the time being. For that reason it seems wise, if one is to convey even a hint of Picasso's growth and accomplishment as an artist, his significance and stature, to restrict

one's view to the essentials: to a generous selection of works, to be

sure, but a rigorously

chosen selection

that affords a concentrated

and thus a well-informed point of access

ume, therefore, the stages

in his

to his oeuvre. In the present vol-

development are documented and

with the works that most illuminate Picasso's in his career.

The range covers

work of the aged

overview

illustrated

point

artistic qualities at that

his very earliest

childhood efforts and the

last

Picasso, and includes a compressed but nonetheless fully

representative choice of his paintings, ceramics, sculptures, graphics and

drawings. Preliminary studies and sketches creation of

famous works from

in the

possible to follow the

he repeatedly rethought and

clearly evidenced.

And

Picasso's art

is

re-

placed

context of the age. This book attempts to explain what Picasso was

and what he cial

is

it

the first idea to the mature execution. Picas-

so's distinctive technique of variation, as

shaped subjects and forms,

make

still is

for the art public of today, both as individual

and as so-

phenomenon.

The Reservoir (Horta de Ebro).

1

909

Le Reservoir (Horta de Ebro) Oil on canvas. 60.3 x 50.1

New

cm

York. Mr. and Mrs. David Rockefeller

Collection

Seated Old Man, P)70 \

/V//

Homme

assis

Oil on canvas, 144.5 \ Paris.

Muscc Picasso

1

14

cm


The Early Years 1890-1901

2

Youth

the period in

is

life that

leaves a permanent imprint, and artists are of

course no exception. But there are few

know much

at all in sufficient detail.

artists

Not so

he was an exception. There can be no other

can so closely observe developing an training

and a natural

gift,

future brilliance in so

we

Their early attempts to express them-

selves artistically are very rarely preserved. too.

about whose early years

artistic

in Picasso's case. In this,

artist in history

whom we

personality on the twin basis of

and establishing the foundation upon which his

many

areas of art

would be based.

Evidently Picasso's family recognised his extraordinary talent

when he

was very young, and not only supported him but also saved documentary evidence that now shows us how he approached the terrain before him as youngster.

No

fewer than 2.200 works dating from

youth have survived, more than have come down other major

artist.

his

*â&#x20AC;˘>

a

childhood and early

to us in the case

of any

These are now the core of the Barcelona Museu Picasso's

holdings. Notable for

extent alone, this material

its

is

also impressive in

its

accomplishment. There are sketches and painted studies of the kind that

were routinely prepared in

in the

course of academic tuition, but also doodles

school exercise books. There are works done in practically every tech-

nique of painting and drawing. They are instructive, revealing both the play-

adventuresomeness of the child and

ful

his early

endeavour

to

meet the deHercules with His Club. 1890

mands of professional training. It is striking, and comes as something of a of Picasso the

already present in these early works, in

artist are

diversity,

and can indeed be detected

His Club

(p.

awkward

study,

1 1 )

home. But what childish the

copy

done

in

in the pencil

is

in the spirit

portrayal,

it

it

was drawn by a

and the clearly apparent

turity or

artist

that then prevailed, as

it is

an

in the parental

child,

is

the un-

look

in the

proof of above-average ma-

was moulded by

we can

cm

Picasso

quality.

to take this as infallible

even genius. Picasso the

academic ideas

Museu

effort to achieve

we

of the professional rules. Wherever

would be wrong

Pencil on paper. 49.6 x 32

Barcelona.

their

1890 by the nine-year-old Pablo. Assuredly

staggering, given that

manner of the

all

drawing Hercules with

and unoriginal, being copied from a painting

works of Picasso's youth, they have the same But

Hercule avec sa massue

surprise, that the essential traits

the educational and

clearly see

from

his juvenilia.

The education he was given was the making of a genius. Picasso started school in Malaga in 886. aged five. None of his drawings of that time survive. But we have a reliable witness to what they were like: Picasso himself 1

Self-portrait: "Yo Picasso". 190

recalled drawing spirals at school in those days. This suggests that art instruction at that

Malaga primary school was designed along

lines

adopted

and adapted by teachers throughout the world. Linear drawing was the

in-

Autoportrait "Yo Picasso" Oil on

cam as.

73.5 \ 60.5

cm

Private collection

11


variable point of departure: children

were encouraged

to think

and create

in

geometrical terms. Then they were taught to abstract forms from the world

And

about them.

only then did they

move on

to the representation of actual

things.

Children

in the 19th

in all things,

and

to

century learnt to perceive a repertoire of stock shapes

reduce individual forms to variations on geometrical

themes. The drawbacks of this method are plain: individual characteristics are subordinated to

unbending principles of representation. But we must not

overlook a salient advantage. Anyone

who had been

schooled

and (of course) possessed a certain amount of native

talent,

in this

way,

would thereby

gain the lifelong ability to register and reproduce objects and motifs quickly

and precisely. Picasso benefitted from the training of an old man.

It

was

that early training that

his

boyhood

till

he was

gave him his astounding assurance

in his craft. It

is

small

wonder

that his school training

remained so emphatically with

Picasso, since professional tuition followed the

family had

boy

first

moved

moved

to

La Corufia when

same

his father took

principles. After his

up a new position, the

attended general secondary school but then in September

to

La Guarda

art

school (where his father

was teaching)

1

892

at the

beginSelf-portrait with

ning of the

new

school year.

By 895 he had 1

taken courses in ornamental

drawing, figure, copying plaster objects, copying plaster figures, and co-

pying and painting from Nature. ing to the

It

was a

strict

academic education accord-

Madrid Royal Academy of Art's guidelines. This meant

once again studied drawing and painting the constant repetition of the

same

in

terms of copying models.

Oil

on canvas. 46.5

Barcelona.

Museu

x 31.5

cm

Picasso

he

And

task did provide the art student with an

available repertoire of representational methods.

12

that

Close-Cropped Hair, 1896

Autoportrait aux cheveux courts

Head of a Man Tete

Oil

d 'homme a

in the Style la

on canvas. 34.7 x 3

Barcelona.

Museu

of El Greco.

Greco 1

.2

Picasso

cm

1

899


What was more,

students were also taught the essentials of art history; the

models they followed

So

it

was

antiquity.

in their exercises

that in his early

He had

to

the art of antiquity

were the masterpieces of ages

past.

youth Picasso was familiar with the sculptures of

copy them over and

was thus

over. His lifelong

as firmly rooted in his early training as his as-

came

first,

Portrait

(In

He was exposed peatedly.

was

The

to his

irrespective of whether he

Barcelona.

same

was working

in

extreme youth, but also

of human heads, of every age and walk of

done

in

Portrait of the Artist's Mother. Portrait de la mere de Pastel

life

on paper. 49.8 x 39

Museu

1

896

'artiste

cm

Picasso

few

number

and of both sexes. These

broad, expansive pastose, using

monochrome

drawing and priming. As with drawing, training proceeded

earthy

finally the

rendering of living models. This training was rigorously formal and de-

signed to drive out the spontaneity

in

an

artist,

PAGE

14:

First

Communion 1896 ,

La Premiere Communion Oil on canvas. 166 x 118

Barcelona,

Museu

cm

Picasso

in stages: first

copying from existing designs, then from genuine objects, and

able disadvantages.

I

re-

browns or ochre yellows and sparing local colour to model the light and shadow on faces. The use of brush and paint followed preliminary training in

cm

Picasso

Barcelona (1895 to 1897)

again. His oils of that period treated relatively

subjects over and over, in a fairly uniform style. There are a striking

studies are

Museu

or ceramics.

schooling not only

tuition he received at art college in

essentially the

896

1

I' artiste

Oil on canvas on cardboard. 42.3 x 30.8

Barcelona.

in oil, printed graphics, sculpture

pere de

engagement with

sured technique and his idiosyncratic manner of approaching a subject. For Picasso, drawing always

Portrait of the Artist's Father,

and inevitably had consider-

PAGH

15:

The Barefoot Girl, 895 La Fillette aux pieds mis 1

Oil on canvas. 74.5 x 49.5

cm

Pans. Musee Picasso

13


v-

Si*


Science and Charily. Science

el

Oil on canvas.

Barcelona,

16

I

Sn 7

chariti l I

)7 \

Museu

249.5

Picasso

cm


Autonomous values of colour,

so important to

new movements such

as

Impressionism, were played down. Colour established form, confirming the

contour established by the drawn casso

the

till

end of

and could be used

his career: colour

it

This sense of colour stayed with Pi-

was intimately connected with form,

to intensify or defamiliarize

training alone could never have

owed

line.

it.

Picasso's academic

Still,

made him what he became, much

as he

in later life.

Picasso's father

He wanted him

to

was unremitting

in

moulding

his son along his

be the academic painter par excellence.

He

work

painted animal scenes and genre paintings, the kind of

own

lines.

himself

traditionally

considered of secondary value; and he wanted his son to paint figure and his-

which were then valued above

tory paintings,

two paintings the

Communion

father

prompted the son

(p. 14) and Science

for the doctor

whose

skill

to

and Charity

and knowledge

all else.

do

This culminated in

1896 and 1897. First

in

Picasso's father sat

(p. 16/17).

will determine the patient's fate.

And

his father also influenced the reception of the pictures

tacts

with newspaper

critics.

The boy's whole education took place father was on the staff.

in

Deliberately though Picasso's training

and

though

intelligent

was,

it

by using his conyoung Picasso's life. schools and colleges where his

He was omnipresent

it

was

was steered by

so's

life.

when

In 1897,

Madrid,

in

it

to those of

crisis

was

however,

inevitable in Picas-

his father sent the sixteen-year-old to the

was a

Royal

The legend-makers have tended courses at all - but he did in fact

great mistake.

to claim that Picasso attended

go

his father,

also outdated. Elsewhere in Europe, this

academic method had been superseded. So a

Academy

in the

none of his

Moreno Carbonero.

he was profoundly disappointed by

Still,

Academy, and concentrated on copying the old masters in the Prado. In June 898 he gave up his Madrid studies for good. A letter he wrote to a friend on 3 November 897 shows how much he craved good instruction in Madrid. In it he complains bitterly of the backwardness and incompetence of his teachers and says he would rather go to Paris or Munich, where the art tuition was the best in Europe. Munich would even be best, he said - although he was going to go to Paris - because in studies at the

1

1

Munich people

didn't bother with fashionable stuff such as pointillism! In

was longing for the kind of academic training given by von Stuck (in Germany); but he was not interested in the methods and ideas that were currently considered avant-garde. other words, Picasso the likes of Franz

Though it may seem astonishing or paradoxical, the fact is that Picasso did not become Picasso under the influence of progressive ideas but because an old-fashioned milieu was imposing superannuated notions on him. He found it impossible to make do with routine and mediocrity. Fully aware that the decision to quit the Academy would seriously damage relations with his father, for

casso

whom

made

Madrid

represented the gateway to desired success, Pi-

still

a radical break

- despite

the total uncertainty of his

new

future.

Not yet seventeen, he set about achieving his independence in every respect.

And from now on Portrait of Pedro Portrait de Pedro

Manach. Manach

Oil on canvas. 100.5 x 67.5

1

901

But

first

he went his

Washington (DC). National Gallery of Art

down

way.

the upheaval of having to leave everything behind produced an

immediate and visible cm

own

result:

he

fell

ill.

In spring

1898

in

Madrid he came

with scarlet fever, and was quarantined for forty days. After recover-

ing he returned to Barcelona and

embarked on

his independent career in art.

The Catalan metropolis was his base till his definitive final move to France in 1904. Those were restless years. In 1898, through its colony Cuba, Spain 19


became involved in a war with the USA. Defeat spelt the end of what remained of Spain's colonial empire and claims to be a world power. It was a turning point, and brought profound political, social and cultural insecurity

with

it.

In such a period, the seventeen-year-old Picasso tal,

albeit not

He had (p. 14)

of a financial kind.

contacts.

And

was exhibited

He was

had considerable capi-

confident, talented and young.

he had unlimited energy. In 1896 First in

Communion

Barcelona. This was the third arts and crafts exhibi-

tion to be held there (after 1891

and 1894), a major event intended

showcase contemporary Catalan

culture.

a triumph for a fifteen-year-old, even

To be exhibited

if his

father's contacts

year later he painted the grand Science and Charity in line

in that

to

show was

had helped.

(p. 16/17),

a

A

work well

with the anecdotal realism which was then a popular variety of his-

torical painting. Picasso

Madrid General Art Exhibition, included the painter Antonio Munoz De-

submitted

it

to the

was taken by a jury that and colleague of his father's to whom the youth had already given a portrait study. Science and Charity received an honourable mention at the exhibition, and subsequently a gold medal in Malaga. and

it

grain, a friend

Frenzy. 1900 Pastel. 47.5 x 38.5

cm

Private collection

The Embrace Les Amants de Pastel

in the Street. la

on paper. 59 x 35

Barcelona.

1

900

rue

Museu

cm

Picasso 21


Le Moulin de

la Galette.

Oil on canvas, 90.2 x

New

1

17

cm

York. The Solomon R.

Museum.

Justin K.

So Picasso was known

1900

Guggenheim

Thannhauser Foundation

set out

on

his

own

way.

to those

And

who

followed contemporary

Barcelona was a good place for

gressive city where Spanish art nouveau

of

artists

known

as the modernists;

and

was based,

in

in the

it.

art

when he

a pro-

form of a group

Barcelona too were

their succes-

sors and antagonists, the post-modernists. In June 1897 the Barcelona cafe

"Els Quatre Gats" (The Four Cats) opened

and hosted changing exhibitions; nian artistic

been too

life.

its

in its short life

it

difficult for

world as

them on

And

in

their

It

Leading "Modernistas" helped establish

it.

It

cannot have

Picasso to join these circles, since they would ha\ e

heard his name; and belonging to them was a good art

was an artists* cafe was the hub of Catalo-

doors.

any other,

talent

start for his career. In the

and energy need personal contacts

to help

way.

was contacts that helped decide Picasso for Paris. Though he w as impressed by what he had heard about Munich, it was to Paris that he made his move. The French capital had an established Catalan community, including a number of artists temporarily living and working in the city. Through them he was introduced to the industrialist and art dealer Pedro Manach. who afforded him a first secure foothold. Manach signed a contract with Picasso guaranteeing to take his pictures for two years and to pa\ 150 francs ::

it


per

month by way of

Picasso exhibition

fixed income.

at the

He

also floated the idea of a

first

Paris

Galerie Vollard in 1901

To Picasso, this was no more than an entree into the art market. For the moment, Spain seemed the better territory for his ambitions. In early 1901 he went to Madrid and started an art magazine together with a young writer, Francesc de Asis Soler. Contributions were squarely ernista'* spirit.

When

failure

became

in line

with the

"Mod-

inevitable, Picasso returned to Bar-

celona, and subsequently devoted his attention to Paris.

The line-based

art

of

art

nouveau presented no problem

he designed for Els Quatre Gats

shape

is

rendered

in clear line.

(p.

28)

in

1899

is

a

to

him. The

menu

good example. Every

Figures and background details work

in plain

zones of monochrome colour, or else are offset from each other by minor, stylized details.

The

illustration

shows

the speed

Picasso had adopted a "Modernista" approach. the repertoire of art nouveau, however.

new

aesthetic trends.

him reworking

Some

and assurance with which

He

did not confine himself to

He was omnivorous

of his drawings and paintings

the formal idiom of El Greco.

The Blue Dancer. 1900 in his taste for

(cf. p.

12)

show

Pierrot el danseuse Oil on canvas. 38 x

46

cm

Private collection

23


The Two Saltimbanques (Harlequin and His Companion). 1901 / es Deux Saltimbanques (Arlequin el sa compagne)

60 cm Moscow. Pushkin Museum

Oil on canvas. 73 \

24


Harlequin Leaning on His Elbow.

1

90

Arlequin accoude Oil on canvas, 82.8 x 61

New

York.

.3

cm

The Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art

25


Lady

in Blue. 1901

Femme

en bleu

Oil on canvas. 133.5 \ 101

Madrid.

Museo Espanol de

Contemporaneo

But

was Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec who made

it

the

most powerful im-

pression on the youthful Picasso. His posters and paintings, draughtsmanlike in

manner, economical, precise, often on the verge of being caricatures,

held a particular appeal for Picasso. In 1900, Picasso's interest in Toulouse-

Lautrec peaked is

in his

a crowd; further on.

at a

table to the

left,

painting Le Moulin de la Galette (p. 22). Inside, there

beyond

we

a diagonally cropped group of

see dancing couples as in a frieze.

the treatment are reminiscent of a Toulouse-Lautrec

turn

ment

was at

a

the

famous Moulin, transposing and

sifies the effect

to night.

subject and

1889. which in

from the garden

Picasso follows Toulouse-Lautrec, and inten-

by using the gas lighting

uniform duskiness

the colourful fun

in

to establish

an atmosphere of half-

which the figures appear as patches of colour

against a dark background. Correspondingly, the style of 26

The

in

seated

reworking of Pierre-Auguste Renoir's 1876 painting of the merri-

to the interior

light, a

done

women

brushwork

is

more

cm Arte


Child Holding a Dove,

1

901

L 'Enfant au pigeon Oil on canvas, 73 x

54

cm

London. National Gallery)

summary, working tics

in large

blocks and pinpointing only a few characteris-

of the people shown. The people have

in fact

viduality and are merely props to illustrate social

Picasso was not merely imitating. inals

He

been stripped of

their indi-

amusement.

also tried to reconceive the orig-

he copied. Very soon he was trying to rework diverse influences

single work. (p. 29).

A

good example painted on cardboard

A young woman

a blue table, leaning

in

1901

is

Pierreuse

wearing a red top and a decorative hat

on both elbows, her

right

arm crooked

in a

is

seated

at

to clasp her left

is Her attitude is one of protective barring and withdrawn within herself. Dreamily she gazes away into an undefined and indistinct distance. A sense of transported absence is conveyed not only by the woman's pose but also by Picasso's compositional subtlety. The woman

signals that she

shoulder.

is

leaning across to the

left

side of the picture, establishing a falling diag-

onal and thus introducing a quality of

movement

into the work.

But

it

is

27


movement

counterbalanced and neutralized by the com-

that is meticulously

position as a whole.

The use of

across the table, the

woman seems

hat cropped

more than once by

spatial areas is richly ambivalent. Inclining to

be coming nearer to

the picture edge

point of stepping out towards us. At the the other side of the table

mood, and

emphasizes

same

it

us,

as if she

is

and with her

were on the

time, though, her position on

inaccessibility.

the contrastive use of colour, with the

It is

a painting of

dichotomy of

flat

areas

mood. Picasso was using techniques borrowed from the pointillists, Vincent van Gogh, Paul Gauguin and the Nabis all in one, to make a style of his own. The same applies to his and broken-up form, serve

portrait of

Pedro Mahach

to underline

its

(p. 18).

Of course contemporary

critics

were quick

to notice Picasso's adoption of

current avant-garde artistic styles. Reviewing the

work shown

in

1901

at the

Galerie Vollard, Felicien Fagus wrote that Picasso had plainly been in-

fluenced by "Delacroix, Manet, Monet, van Gogh, Pissarro. Toulouse-Lautrec,

Degas, Forain, perhaps even Rops". The only thing wrong with

*

this as-

name or two, such as that of Gaunumber of influences on Picasso at that time need not only be seen in a negative light. It is normal for young artists to be influenced as they try to find their own style. And Picasso was not merely copying; he was quickly able to harmonize various influences into new wholes. If this had not been so, it would be hard to understand his early sucsessment

r

is

that

it

misses out an important

guin. But the sheer

Menu Menu

of "Els Quatre Gats". 1899 "Quatre Gats"

ties

Pencil and India ink. coloured, 22 x 16.5

Whereabouts unknown

cm

cess on the art market.

He had

an excellent

memory

for formal qualities,

one

which stored them so deeply that they became part of his own way of thinking. He was imitating, yes - but he did so in order to find a style entirely his own.

Pierreuse, 1901 Pierreuse, la

main

mr I'ipaule

Oil on cardboard, 69.5 \ 57

Barcelona,

28

Museu

Picasso

cm


The Blue and Rose Periods

3

1901-1906

In the year 1901 Picasso

of his

own -

was already in a position to create something new works known as his Blue Period. These than a resume of European artistic progress since

the long series of

works constitute no

less

mid- 19th century - though Picasso did forgo the newly-discovered potential of colour. In this respect he was diametrically at odds with Fauvism. which flourished at the same time. Though the fundamentals of the the

Blue Period were evolved so's actual labours

In fact his

work

till

Barcelona remained the centre of Picas-

in Paris,

he finally

moved

to the

French capital

in April

1904.

Catalonia was interrupted only by a brief (and commer-

in

cially dismal) stay in Paris

from October 1902

to

January 1903. His pictures,

not merely melancholy but profoundly depressed and cheerless, inspired no affection in the public or in buyers.

It

was not poverty

that led

him

to paint

the impoverished outsiders of society, but rather the fact that he painted

them made him poor himself. All Picasso invented was his treatment; otherwise he was squarely in the avant-garde line of development since the mid- 19th century. Gustave Courbet's realism had located subjects in everyday village life. Courbet liked to give plain physical work the full monumental treatment, knowing the subject had hitherto not been taken seriously. In Honore Daumier's drawings, society's weaknesses were lampooned, but Daumier also took the lives of smiths, butchers or

owed no

washerwomen

seriously in paintings and graphic art that

slavish debt to any classical norm.

And

Impressionism, of course,

Study for "The

Visit".

1902

Etude pour "L 'Entrevue

"

Pencil on paper 45.9 x 32.8 Paris.

cm

Musee Picasso

would be radically misunderstood if we saw it purely as formal virtuosity, games played with colour, and atmospherics. The Impressionists also discovered the modern city as a source of subjects. If they recognised no hierarchy of formal values, they also knew no precedence of subjects. There were no taboos in their approach to the new reality, no refusal to face subjects that were beneath boulevard whores,

their dignity.

life in

all

Paris

appeared

Smoke-filled railway stations and cathedrals,

and night clubs and the gloom of drinkers and

in their

work. Picasso's Blue Period portrayals of beg-

gars and prostitutes, workers and drinkers in bars, took up this line. His absinthe drinkers had antecedents in

Woman

Ironing

finities to

We

(p.

Degas and Toulouse-Lautrec;

his arresting

44) was also a product of a recent tradition, with

af-

works by Daumier and Degas.

should also remember that the Paris milieu was not the sole influence

on Picasso's Blue Period. Spanish culture played a considerable part

Of the

too. Self-portrait with Cloak. 1901/02

various ideas that were imported into the country

ism was particularly Picasso

moved

in

influential: the

Barcelona

were very interested

literary

in the tenets

at the

and

time, anarch-

artistic circles

of anarchism, albeit

in

Autoportrait Oil on canvas, 81 x Paris.

Musee

60

cm

Picasso

31


conjunction with other ideas too.

of 1901/1902

(p.

A self-portrait

30) captures the mood.

It is

as

Picasso painted in the winter

Fyodor Dostoievsky's

if

novels, Friedrich Nietzsche's ideas and the theories of Mikhail Bakunin had

stood godfather to the painting.

The influence of anarchist

literature

and of

Isidre Nonell's socio-critical

many of Picasso's works of 1899 and

art is

apparent

style

of the Blue Period neither simply continued

in

1900. But his

this line

with his sources. His formal approach was different for a ell

new

nor conformed start.

Whereas Non-

(and Picasso himself in his '"Arte Joven" days) had done compositions in-

volving several figures and having a narrative character, the Blue Period

works established just works,

a handful of emphatic motifs. In Nonell's

human misery was

seen as a slice of real

life in its real

and implied comment on larger societal conditions. But The

Visit

(Two

Sisters).

environment

in Picasso's

case

1902 fate

L'Entrevue (Les Deux Soeurs) Oil on canvas on panel. 152 x 100 St.

panoramic

cm

was an individual

The Absinthe Drinker

power from

Petersburg. Hermitage

thing,

this.

endured

(p. 33).

in isolation.

an emotionally arresting painting, draws

Everything seems stony: the glass, the

bottle, the

its

woman

A sense of volume is conveyed by juxtaposing variant tones of the same colour within purely linear spaces. Spatial values are produced less by

herself.

Crouching Beggar. 1902 Misireuse accroupie Oil on canvas.

1

1

.2

x 66

cm

Toronto. Art Gallerv of Ontario

perspective than by the overlapping of forms.

It is

a meticulous, clear, bal-

anced composition, with lighter and darker echoes of the skin tonalities uni-

'1


The Absinthe Drinker. La Buveuse d' absinthe Oil on canvas. 73 x St.

54

1

90

1

cm

Petersburg. Hermitase

The tonal differences are so slight that the impression borders on the monochrome, serving solely to intensify the atmospheric charge. The draughtsman's forms make a more powerful impact than the painter's colouring. The long, talon-like hands gripping the angular face and upper fying the effect.

arm, with the overall elongation of proportions, serve to emphasize the isolation

and introspectiveness of the

sitter.

But the Blue Period Picasso did not merely pursue one-sided variations of an expressive approach.

He produced

very varied work, monumental,

smoothly-constructed pieces alternating with detailed work the brushwork

of which is

is

nervy and dabbed.

also an art

It is

which portrays an

not only an art of considerable artifice,

artificial

world. For Picasso, confrontation

with social reality was only a motivation; it

In

was more important

it

to experiment, to try

The Absinthe Drinker the subject

is

it

was not an end and

test

new

in itself.

For him

visual approaches.

not only the melancholy pub atmos33

.


PAGE

35:

Evocation (The Burial of Casagemas). 1901 L Evocation ( Enterrement de Casagemas) '

cm

Oil on canvas, 150.5 x 90.5 Paris,

Musee d'Art Moderne de

la Ville

de Paris

The Death of Casagemas (Casagemas

in

His Coffin), 1901

La Mort de Casagemas (Casagemas dans son cercueil) Oil on cardboard. 72.5 x 57.8

cm

Estate of the artist

phere and the dreariness of alcohol. The painting's meaning also

lies in the

autonomy of formal means. The erosion of defined spatiality, the abandoning of perspective construction, is only the most striking of several interesting features. tional

must be taken together with the accentuation of composi-

It

fundamentals such as plenitude and emptiness, density and weight,

emphasis and

its

lack.

Ex-centricity and centralization were constants in this period. The Blind

Man Meal 's

(p.

40) has a blind

man up

against the right of the composition,

reaching across the table with unnaturally elongated arms, so that the rest of the picture

seems somehow

monochromatic blue

is

to be in his

embrace or province. The radically

married to a kind of formal crisscross procedure: the

composition uses striking echo techniques, the pallor

neck answered by parts of the

in the blind

table, the paler blue patches

on

corresponding to the pale blues on the rear wall. Though there line

man's

his clothing is

no clear

of evolution, certain Blue Period motifs and formal groupings do recur.

In essence,

seated

Picasso was working within a limited range:

at tables,

alone or

in

men and women

twos, meals being eaten, figures crouching or

hugging themselves as they stand or

people with head

sit,

in

hand or arms

crossed - this modest repertoire, in variations, accounts for the Blue Period

work.

Of course,

if

there

were no more

to

no longer have any particular reason

it,

to

those with no prior interest would

be interested

in these pictures. In fact

Picasso was a master of intensifying contrast and evocative effects. His mastery

came from

and thematic antecedents,

his assured grasp of certain formal

and of the various media (such as drawing, graphics or liest

etchings was The Frugal Repast

(p. 42).

masterpieces of 20th-century printed graphic line

done

in

art. In

etching resembles his handling of colour tones

black /.ones fade to grey and to bright

clarity.

As

in

paint).

One of his

ear-

1904 and one of the

it.

Picasso's approach to

in the paintings.

Velvety

The Blind Man's Meal

Picasso plays with formal correspondences; but the cylindrical thinness of 34

The Death oj Casagemas. Iai Mort </< Casagemas Oil on panel. 27 X 35 Paris.

Musee Picasso

cm

l l

H)l


the arms, the elongated spread fingers, and the

with their dark and light areas, influence of El Greco

was the only presence

also influenced Picasso's

lowed approach ists

monochrome

at the turn

bony angularity of the figures Not that the conspicuous

El Greco.

all recall

in the

style.

Blue Period. Other

Indeed,

it

was a widely

artists

fol-

of the century, used by Symbolists, Impression-

and even Classicists.

The colour blue was important in these experiments. Its melancholy mood was often discussed in theoretical writings on art and in literature at the time. Blue not only denotes melancholy;

it

also carries erotic charges.

has a long tradition in Christian iconography, in which vine.

German Romanticism gave

ent, albeit in secular fashion.

there had been a regular

it

stands for the di-

blue the task of representing the transcend-

Ever since the

mania

it

And

for blue, as

the tourist discovery of the Blue Grotto

first third

it

of the 19th century

were, which peaked in 1826 in

on Capri. As early as 1810, Johann

Angel Fernandez de Solo with a Woman. c.

1902/03

Angel Fernandez de Soto avec unefemme Watercolour and India ink on paper. 21 \ 15.2

cm

Barcelona.

16

Museu

Picasso


Wolfgang von Goethe had advocated the use of dominant colours to set moods: blue light could be used for mourning, and one could look at one"s surroundings through tinted glass

in

Two Figures and a Cat. Deux Nus et un chat

1902/03

c.

Watercolour and pencil on paper.

order to marshal divergent colours

in

Barcelona.

Museu

1

8 x 26.5

cm

Picasso

a single tonality. In 1887 the French Symbolist painter Louis Anquetin actually adopted this method.

Picasso's The Visit

(p.

traditional values into a

figures are straight

The Mackerel (Allegorical Composition).

32) shows

new

how

synthesis.

consciously he was gathering these

The

from Christian iconography. The

portrayed in this way: and blue

visitation of

1902/03

Le Maquereau Composition allegorique) I

and gestures of the

attitudes

c.

Mary was

Coloured India ink on cardboard. 13.9 x 9 Barceona.

Museu

cm

Picasso

the colour symbolically associated with

is

Queen of Heaven. But Picasso was also at work on personal material in the painting. The women's heads are covered, as they are in many of his paintings of that period - and as they were at the women's the Virgin, the

prison of

St.

doctor he

knew

late:

and

it

Lazare

made

It

place, full of

The Blue Period peaked

May

work of this phase but

in

La

Vie (p. 39). a

in

women whose

a profound impression on the

Picasso completed in

ture

which Picasso had access

in Paris, to

was a dismal

1901 through a fates

young Spanish

were deso-

artist.

major composition which

many respects it is not only the major very sum of Picasso's art. At first the struc-

1903. In

also the

seems straightforward, but

ing are complex. There are

in fact the history

and message of the paint-

two groups of people, an almost naked couple

and a mother with a sleeping babe, separated by half the picture's breadth.

Between them we can see two pictures leaning against the wall, the lower showing a crouching person with head on knee, the upper - a kind of variant on the other - a man and woman crouching and holding each other. The overall impression

is

of an

artist's studio,

so that

we

are tempted to see

it

as

PAGE

38:

Poor People on the Seashore. 1903 Les Pauvres

cut

bord de

Oil on panel. 105.4 x 69

a representation of the port of the

work

is

life

of the

artist.

easy to interpret.

seems. The location

itself

But neither the subject nor the im-

It is

too fractured: nothing

is

what

it

Washington (DC). National Gallery of

Art.

remains undefined, uncertain. The perspective

casso has used Blue Period compositional techniques pictures in one single, intense piece: and the is

mer

cm

Chester Dale Collection

angles are at odds with one another, the architectonic details ambiguous. Pi-

Vie

la

same

a kind of pastiche of Picasso's Blue Period.

is

we can

see in various

true of his subjects.

La

PAGE

La

39:

Vie (Life). 1903

Oil on canvas. 196.5 x 128.5

cm

Cleveland (OH). The Cleveland

Museum

of Art

37


The Blind Man

7

s

Meal.

1

903

Le Repas d'aveugle Oil on canvas, 95.3 x 94.6

New

The male Spain.

When

same year he

own

La

figure in

who committed

was

Vie

his

cm Museum

York. The Metropolitan

of Art

sometime friend Carlos Casagemas,

suicide in Paris in the year 1901 while Picasso

was back

in

Picasso heard the news in Spain, he was deeply affected. That

works

started to paint

that dealt with the

dead man and

his

They were fictive, heavily symbolic (pp. paintings. The fact that Picasso returned to Casagemas in the great 1903 composition suggests that the existential impact on him was profound. The painting was also in line with an artistic preoccupation of the times; the subhim

relations with

34 and

35).

and suicide were frequently

jects of early death, despair of one's vocation,

much

addressed and

discussed

in

Barcelona's

artistic circles.

Casagemas

evidently stood for Picasso himself. X-ray examination has revealed that

Picasso used a canvas on which something had already been painted

- and

not just any canvas, but in fact his painting Last Moments, seen at the Paris

World Fair

1900 and

in

other words a thematically and biographically

in

extremely significant picture. It is

idle to

meaning

is

want

to read

an exact message into La

and thematic terms

in

those years

is

in this

meaning

Yet Picasso's

present in this one picture.

choly and existential symbolism of that period pressed

Vie.

clear enough. All that mattered in biographical, artistic, creative

is in

in

Picasso's

life

The melanare richly ex-

ambitious work. Picasso's technique of veiling the paintings fact

one of

its

signal qualities.

vapidness of one-sided allegory:

we

He has managed

to sidestep the

are involved in this painting,

drawn

Celestina or

Woman

with a Cast.

into Celestina

it

and - meditatively - into ourselves. The process opens up entirely new

dimensions 40

to historical painting.

Oil on Paris.

cam as.

SI \

60

Miiscc Picasso

cm

1

904


Looking back, we can see the Blue Period works as a progression towards even though they were not specific preliminary studies, of course.

this goal,

For the

first

peatedly

work and

see in Picasso's art something that will strike us re-

sequel, a notable tension

endeavour

the

one sum. La

we

time

in the

Vie

is

to

between the autonomy of the single

gather the fruits of a line of development into

the first of a

number of Picassos

that stand out

from the

The Frugal Repast. 1904 Le Repas frugal Etching, 46.5 x 37.6

cm

ceuvre by virtue of unusual formal and thematic complexity and an extraord-

The

was both an end and a beginning: it was a prelude to paintings even more strictly monochromatic in their use of atmospheric blue and even more concerned with existential depths. inary genesis.

painting

After three years of portraying the poor and needy and lonely, Picasso struck out in so.

It

is

made

new

directions.

Woman

entirely of polarities.

with a Crow (p. 45) shows him doing The dynamic contour, the contrasting

black and red and blue, the large and small, open and closed forms, the

em-

Mother and Child. 1905

phasis on the centre plus the lateral displacement, light juxtaposed with dark

Mire el enfant (Baladins) Gouache on cam as. M) \ 71 cm

and the white paper gleaming through, the deep black

Stuttgart, Staatsgalerie Stuttgart

12

o\'

the

crow

's

plumage

l


woman's chalk-white face - all of these features are extraordinarevocative. The figures seem almost engraved. The delicacy of the heads

against the ily

and the long, slender fingers of the ture. in

It is

1904,

a decorative picture, a it

woman emphasize

Oil

the intimacy of ges-

work of arresting grace and

new approach:

also records Picasso's

in the

his

new phase

period ahead, he

the "'Harlequin Period". Harlequins are

outsiders too. But they have something to compensate for their low social

rank - their

artistry.

his final

move

to

studio on the Place Ravignan in like

the

wooden

May.

It

in

\

1

12

cm

The Metropolitan Museum of

Art

Woman

Ironing.

1

904

La Repasseuse Oil on canvas.

1

16.2 \ 73

New York. The Solomon Museum

cm R.

Guggenheim

art:

beauty.

April 1904, taking a Montmartre

was one of

a

number

building nicknamed the "bateau [avoir" from

Montmartre and

his old

the literal) avant-garde in Paris.

warding contacts with 44

France

its

in a

barrack-

similarity to

washboats on the Seine. Of course Picasso did not move solely among

the artists of

York.

Picasso avails himself of their colourful costumes and

graceful, decorative lines to create what can only be created by

He had made

on canvas, 194

New

beauty. Painted

chose subjects to match his newly aestheticized sense of form. Connoisseurs

and friends dubbed

The Actor. 1904 L'Actcur

art

And

Spanish colony friends. He also knew he was increasingly establishing

dealers and collectors.

re-

Woman with a Crow. Femme a la comeille

1904

Charcoal, pastel and w alcrcolour on paper.

64.6

\

4 l ).5

cm

Toledo (OH). The Toledo

Museum

of

An


"

&4&A


The Acrobat's Family with a Monkey. 1905 Famille d' acrobats avec singe

Gouache, watercolour, on cardboard, 104 x 75

pastel

and India ink

cm

Gdteborg, Goteborgs Konstmuseum

4" BOTTOM The Death of Harlequin. 1906 /,(/ Mori d'arlequin Gouache on cardboard, 68.5 x 96 cm

PAGE

Pmatc 46

collection


Clown and Young Acrobat. 1905

Seated Harlequin. 1905

Harlequin on Horseback.

Banffon etjeune acrobat

Arlequin as sis

Arlequin a cheval

Charcoal, pastel and watercolour on paper.

60

\

47

cm

Baltimore (MD). The Baltimore

Cone

Museum

of Art.

1

905

cm

Watercolour and India ink:

Oil on cardboard. 100 x 69.2

dimensions unknov\n

Upperville (VA). Mr. and Mrs. Paul Mellon

Private collection

Collection

Collection

47


Circus Family (The Tumblers). 1905 Famille de bateleurs

Watercolour and India ink on paper. 24.3 \ 30.5

cm

Baltimore (MD). The Baltimore Art.

Cone

Museum

Collection

The Acrobats (Study), 1905 l.a

Famille

Gouache

</<

saltimbanques (Funic)

and charcoal on cardboard,

51.2 x 61.2

cm

Moscow. Pushkin Museum IS

of


The. Acrobats. 1905

La Famille de saltimbanques (Les Bateleurs) Oil on canvas. 212.8 x 229.6

cm

Washington (DC). National Gallery of Art. Chester Dale Collection

49


At the "Lapin ,4;/

agile". 1905

"Lapin agile" (Arlequin an verre)

99 x 100.5 cm Rancho Mirage (CA). Mr. and Mrs. Walther H. Annenbera Collection

Oil on canvas,

Even time

Rose Period pictures

so. the

in the artist's life.

Nor

are they straight representations of everyday

At the "Lapin agile"

reality.

are not merely records of a pleasant

(p.

50)

is

a variation on an approach he had

already used in his Blue Period for works such as The Absinthe Drinker (p. 33),

with people gazing listlessly into vacancy, their bearing expressive

of wearied lack of contact. The harlequin costume suggests that

masquerade (p.

45)

is

set

up by an

not so

uality.

The

Period

all

much

intellectual process.

His

Woman

a portrait as a type study, stylized

it

with a

beyond

harlequins, street entertainers and other artistes of the

enact the process of grasping the role of the

artist.

is all

a

Crow individ-

Rose

They were

the

product of complex reflection inspired not least by Picasso's relations with the literary a

world

in Paris;

he was

now

a regular at the "Closerie des Lilas",

Montparnasse cafe where the Parisian

Under poet Paul

Fort they

particular interest to

literary

bohemia

liked to meet.

met on Tuesdays for discussions, which were of

up-and-coming

artists.

Picasso's friend Guillaume Apollinaire

was

a prominent

member

of this

group. His consistent aesthetic radicalism strengthened Picasso's position.

The poet repeatedly drew

the public's attention to the Spaniard's

so played an important part in Picasso's early recognition. naire's interests

was

and

and pornographic

edit erotica

this taste to

work and

And one

of Apolli-

directly related to Picasso's work: he liked to collect literature.

Apollinaire and Picasso shared

an extent. Picasso's early work often included erotic or

down-

right pornographic scenes (pp. 36 and 37). In old age he returned to these themes, though not till then. It is not so much a reflection of Picasso's own

50


a

life in

promiscuous milieu (though

cally political convictions.

Taboos

breached by the freedom of

it

set

is

that too) as

an extension of basi-

up by mindless

social convention are

art.

Anarchist ideas prompted the rejection of traditional social structures and put unbridled individualism in their place. This individualism in a stylized role as outsider

and

artist.

was expressed

The Blue and Rose Period

beggars, isolated people, harlequins, artistes and actors were a

pictures of

way

of keep-

ing "official'* artistic values at arm's length, both thematically and formally.

The choice of an

artistic

rejection of conventional subject matter. Moreover, the tionally has a licence to utter the unvarnished truth to the mighty.

was a deliberate fool or clown tradi-

milieu for the Rose Period works

During the Enlightenment the

nadir; but, as the age of the

and so hold up a mirror

fool's fortunes

middle classes took a firmer

pierrot or

clown acquired a new and higher value.

was seen

as the

In

were

at their

grip, the harlequin,

France

in particular

he

Two Acrobats with a Dog, 905 Deux Saltimbanques avec tut chien Gouache on cardboard, 105.5 x 75 cm New York, The Museum of Modern Art 1

epitome of the rootless proletarian, the People

After the 1848 revolutions, the

came

figure of the sad

clown be-

familiar.

Just as in the Blue Period a

minated the

new symbolic

in person.

in a

huge canvas The Acrobats

on the

number of

major work, La Vie

artistic life.

And,

(p. 39),

(p. 49). It

tellingly,

it

sketches, studies and paintings cul-

so too the harlequin phase produced

was Picasso's

was another

artist,

Acrobat and Young Equilibrist, 1905 Acrobate a

la

boule (Filiate a

definitive statement

Oil

the Austrian poet

Moscow, Pushkin

la bottle)

cm Museum

on canvas. 147

x

95

51


Woman Wearing a Chemise. Femme a la chemise oil on canvas, 73 \ 59.5 cm I

ondon, Tate Gallery

52

1905


Rainer Maria Rilke (who

owner of

1916 spent some months

who found

the painting),

of the work, in the

in

the aptest

words

of his Duino Elegies: "But

fifth

in the

to tell

.

start

and changes.

starts

who

me.

w anderers. even more / transient than we ourselves X-ray examination has shown that the final picture was

new

of the then

convey an impression

these

painstaking labours, of frequent

home

.

Paris.

the fruit of long,

was begun

now

in the

Museum

Baltimore

of Art

(p. 48).

even specific gestures and poses, appear

in other

most famously Acrobat and Young Equilibrist isfied

w ith

(p. 5

1

Dutch Girl (La Belle Hollandaise). 1905

approaches he had been toying w

Museum

the Pushkin

provide the

in

ith.

Moscow

as

we can

(p. 48).

Hollandaise a

combined

it.

all

dissat-

la coiffe

(La Belle Hollandaise)

gouache and blue chalk on cardboard

on panel. 77 x 66

cm

Brisbane. Queensland Art Gallen

Through

three of the

see from a gouache

now

in

Four male acrobats, standing, now

focus - among them Tio Pepe

girl. In

pictures,

But Picasso was

the result, turned the canvas round, and painted over

a set of preliminary studies he hit on a strategy that

young

).

Musee National d'Art Moderne.

at the

All of the charac-

Rose Period

on

cm

Centre Georges Pompidou

Oil.

ters,

1905

India ink on paper

cardboard. 77 x 67

of the Rose Period in 1904. That composition, later painted over, was

like a study

Girls.

Gouache and are they,

.'"

It

Three Dutch

Les Trois Hollandaises

and. from the

first

version, the

due course Picasso painted over the canvas for a fourth time,

we now

He

man on

at

long

in

harlequin costume, replaced the boy's dog with a flower basket for the

last arriving at the

girl,

and dressed the boy

tom

right he

version

in a

have.

put the

the left

blue and red suit rather than a leotard. At bot-

added a young seated woman. She too derived from a pre(cf. p. 58). In other words, much as The Acrobats (p. 49)

viously used motif

may make

a unified impression, as

if

it

had been achieved

in

one go.

it

in

fact constitutes a synthesis of the motifs Picasso liked to paint during his

Rose Period. There are are

now

two blocks:

six people: the

background

is

not exactly defined. There

the left-hand group, accounting for

some

two-thirds of the

picture's breadth, consists of five people, while at right the

young woman

is

53


Head of a Woman (Fernande), 1906 Tetc defemme (Fernande) Bronze. 35 x 24 x 25 Paris.

cm

sitting

on her own. The contrast

is

heightened by subtle compositional

means. The positioning of three of the figures

at left

veys a sense of weight and unity, and the Mallorcan

Musee Picasso

very close together con-

woman

at right scarcely

provides an effective counterbalance. The /.c

Jester. 1905

Picasso's palette consists basically of the three primary colours, plus shad-

Fou

Bronze 41.5

The reds and blues are graded different degrees of brightness, but yellow only appears mixed with blues and browns, in unrestful presences that lack much formal definition. Thus ings in black and white to enrich the detail.

(after a

wax

original),

x37 \ 22.8 cm Musee Picasso

Paris.

in

various degrees of sandy yellow account for the unreal, spatially undefinable

The other colours

landscape.

pending on

how

are caught

up

in similar spatial vagaries;

de-

bright or aggressive or foregrounded they are. they are

coupled with darker, heavier shades that fade into the background. Onl\ first

glance does this

make an evenly balanced

look more closely, things

start to

Take Tio Pepe. for instance,

in

As soon

impression.

as

at

we

perplex us.

whom

Picasso's strategy of contrastive de-

is most assertively seen. The massive red-clad man is conspicuous and conspicuously lacks the lower half of his right leg! A defect

stabilization

The la

1906

Toilette.

Toilette

Oil on canvas, 151 x

HuILiI.hM 54

i.

99 cm

\lbrighl

Knox ArtGallerj

in a figure

of such thematic and formal importance serves

entire compositional logic, and.

once

alerted,

we

see that

to destabilize the

it

is

unreal through


?tt4

23*

£—


Naked

Boy Leading a Horse, 1906 Meneur de cheval nu

Youth. 1906

Gargon mi

Tempera on cardboard. 67.5 x 52 St.

Petersburg. Hermitage

cm

Oil on canvas, 220.3 x 130.6

New

York. The

Museum

of

cm

Modern Art

The Two Brothers. 1906

Deux Freres Gouache Oil cardboard. SO Paris. Muscc Picasso /

SI,

>

v

\

59

cm


and through. The picture lacks a single point of view: the figures are spatially

placed

subject to artistic

its

in a

curiously all-round way, as

own

perspective. Picasso

And

viewpoints are relative.

would well

suit a historical picture.

he

is in is

if

each zone of the picture were

fact

doing

once again it

in a narrative

His de-clarified world

one these melancholy, uncommunicative characters would casso's departure from the laws of Nature in

which acrobats earn

their living

is

telling us that

apt since

it

is

inhabit.

Pi-

gravity.

The

life

harle-

of the

The tendency to experiment formally grew upon Picasso throughout the Rose Period. In summer 1905, at the invitation of writer Tom Schilperoort. he made a journey. The writer had inherited some money, and asked Picasso to join him on the homeward trip to Holland. For Picasso it was an encounter with an entirely new landscape and way of life. The few drawings

I

I

and paintings he did on the tures.

Woman from

Majorca. 1905

(Study for The Acrobats)

Espagnole de I'tle de Majorque Gouache and watercolour on cardboard.

cm

Moscow. Pushkin Museum

They drew on

trip

model: even are

still

if

the

were markedly different from the acrobat

classical sources

53) was the most important

(p.

1

And

but also a pretext to review formal fundamentals.

artist

67 x 5

that

matches the manner

by defying the law of

quin theme offered not only a visual means of approaching the

Spanish

mode

precisely the

fruit

young women

pic-

and ancient forms. Three Dutch Girls

of his journey.

are wearing

It

readily betrays

its

Dutch national costume, they

grouped as the Three Graces traditionally were. Picasso was casting

numerous new studies and paintings, the colourful palette of the acrobat pictures was replaced by a monochrome red. Not only the male nudes in other paintings but even portraits done at the time about for

make

new

bearings. In

a three-dimensional impression, abstracted and simplified, like sculp-

tures transferred to canvas.

attention to other

media such

He had made an past

(p. 42)

in

At

this

time Pablo Picasso began to give greater

as printed graphics or sculpture.

early attempt at sculpture in 1902, and

1904 had shown him a master etcher

at a

The Frugal Re-

date

when he had

only recently been taught the technique by the Spanish painter Ricardo Canals. Just as printed graphics

had helped the pictures of acrobats on

way, so too three-dimensional work

in

wax

or clay

(cf. p.

their

54) informed the

formal vocabulary of the pictures that concluded the Rose Period. Picasso

was developing

Boy with a Dog, 1905 Garcon au hien Gouache and pastel on cardboard, i

4

St.

58

1.2

cm

Petersburg, Hermitage

in a

new

direction again.


I


4 Cubism 1906-1915

From

the winter of 1905 on. Picasso did nothing but experiment. Increas-

human form in terms of its plastic volume. He simplified it. stripped it down to essentials, to a very few blocks, stylizing it into something that was less and less naturalistic. Any infringement of natural was seeing

ingly he

the

proportion he accepted with a shrug, even accentuating

independence of

light the

art.

it

order to high-

in

Picasso deliberately abandoned professional

technique, and placed his outlines and areas of colour rawly and inchoately

before us. making no attempt to flesh out an appearance of a living person.

There were no illusions on the canvas

to

in these lines

and

this paint.

They were simply

there

do the job of establishing a form.

Picasso pursued this path

in a

summer 1907

lengthy series of studies. In

they culminated (at least for the time being) in the famous Demoiselles

d Avignon It

ity

has long been recognised as a key work

(p. 67). It

took Picasso a

full

three-quarters of a year to complete

of his labour can be proven by

Not only scrawls

studies!

in

statistics:

the history of

Thanks

art.

modern

art.

the intens-

no fewer than 809 preliminary

sketchbooks but also large-scale drawings and

even one or two paintings. This degree of preparatory

clearly

in

And

it.

to this material,

we can

toil is

unparalleled

in

follow Picasso's method

enough. There were two strands of evolution, one formal, one the-

mind they were

matic. In Picasso's

distinct, as

we can

see from the fact that

most of the sketches only ever tackle one formal or one thematic problem. At irregular

intervals he

would then sketch combinations of

development: they record solutions

more

radical

the canvas

till

goal

at last the

is in

to

problems: the yokings become ever

sight.

The

final stage

involves work

Paris.

1909

Musee Picasso

at

itself.

As we can now

see. in

most of the individual sketches Picasso was

ing for clear insight into the nature of artistic mimesis.

deavour

distinct lines of

Headofa Woman (Fernande), Tete defemme {Fernande) Bronze. 40.5 x 23 x 26 cm

lay in recognising the tw in poles of mimesis:

ideal coincidence of object

The value of

striv-

the en-

on the one hand the

and representation, and on the other hand the

complete absence of any representational value. Every mimetic drawing contains

elements of both extremes. Picasso's conclusion, like

genius,

was

in

essence very simple, but

ance for 20th-century

do not

intrinsically

must be possible still, it is

true,

to

art:

the mimetic

it

things of

has been of revolutionary import-

image

is

a

belong together. Their yoking

mix them

all

compound of elements is

dictated by chance.

that

So

it

quite differently and thus create forms that can

be understood as representational

in

some

sense, but

which Self-portrait.

are pure art rather than a mimetic imitation of Nature.

The images we have of things already little

to

constitute an abstraction; so

draw a generalized representation of an object.

1

907

Autoportrait

In sketches

it

takes

done dur-

Oil on canvas.

50

\

46

cm

Prague. Narodni Galeri

61


Two Nudes, 1906 Deux Femmes nues

ing the winter of 1906, the

Oil on canvas, 151.3 x 93

New

York, The

Museum

cm

of

Modern Art

method Picasso used

to

draw

a face

Oil on canvas, 151 x 100

cm

and shape of a nose, and

hatched lines on one side conveyed

the face (p. 65).

secondary sion

Switzerland, Private collection

In

parallel

irregular lines indicated the breadth

Now

lines, in a

all that

was required was

May

minor

alterations could it.

change a

He drew

in his

faithful

ue,

Narodni Galeri

cm

how

this quest, to see

copy of Nature

into a graphic

use of colour in his

man's evolutionary techniques

Oil on canvas, 151 \ 100

impres-

into

relatively

something

autonomy. Then he angled

and constructed a head out of unnatural straight lines and

great distance along the road of

lesjambes croisies

artificial

of

and

Picasso also used this same method of free combination of formal fun-

damentals

assise,

to other parts

the bridge of the nose in strictly parallel lines,

which devolved the hatched areas

Femme nue

size

to stylize all the principal

mechanistic fashion, and a far more

and June of 1907 he resumed

the elliptical eyes arcs.

its

would be conveyed.

remote from

Seated Nude with Crossed Legs, 1906

a

Two

by means of shadow. The same procedure was then applied Two Nude Women Arm in Arm, 1906 Deux Fannies nues se tenant

was

simple, indeed conventional one.

The

final oil version

oil studies. In the

combining

(pp.

64 and

process, he travelled a

the colourist's

and the draughts-

65).

of Les Demoiselles d'Avignon

(p.

67) brought

together the results of Picasso's experimentation in such a wa\ that

we can

trace the entire spectrum of his options from the central figures out to the


Female Nude. 1907 Study for Les Demoiselles a"Avignon

Femme nue Oil on canvas. 81 x

60 cm

Private collection

sides.

It is

the

programmatic statement of a new formal vocabulary, created

from the systematic scrutiny of conventional representational approaches and the development of a new synthesis out of them. The colour scheme synthesis of the monochromatic and the contrastive. in

The

is

a

figures are painted

colours ranging from whitish yellow to brown, as are areas of the back-

ground;

with the blue that divides the right group from the

this contrasts

left.

Compositionally. the placing of the subjects breaches conventional ideas clarity

and order.

right: first the

We

can identify three zones, increasing

woman

at far left,

then the

two

in si/e

from

frontally positioned

o\

left to

women

against the whitish-grey background, and then, seeming!) split off b) a

harsh colour contrast, the two is at

64

odds with a more orderly

at

the right. But this irregular tripartite

spatial division

marked

b\ the

scheme

still life at

the


x

Head of a Woman. 1906

Head of a Woman. 1906

Head of a Woman. 1906

Stuck forLes Demoiselles a"Avignon

Stud) for Lei Demoiselles d'Avignon

Studs for Les Demoiselles d'Avignon

Tete

defemme

Tete de

Pencil on paper. 31 \ 24

cm

femme

Pencil on paper. 32 \ 24 Estate of the artist

Private collection

Tete de

cm

femme

Pencil on paper. 14.7 x 10.6 Paris.

cm

Musee Picasso

Bust of a Woman. 1907 Stud\ for Les Demoiselles d'Avignon

Buste de femme Oil on can\as. 65 \ 58

cm

Musee National d'Art Moderne. Centre Georges Pompidou Paris.

65


PAGE 66 TOP:

PAGE

Study for "I^es Demoiselles d'Avignon", 1907

Study for

Etude pour "Les Demoiselles d'Avignon"

Etude pour "Les Demoiselles d'Avignon"

Pencil and pastel on paper. 47.7 x 63.5

cm

BOTTOM: "I^es

Les Demoiselles d'Avignon. 1907 Demoiselles d'Avignon". 1907

Kunstsammlung

Basel.

Oil on canvas. 243.9 x 233.7

New

York.

cm

The Museum of Modern Art

cm Museum

Watercolour on paper. 17.5 x 22.5 Philadelphia (PA). Philadelphia

(sheet size)

Basel. Offentliche

66

of Art

Kupferstichkabinett

67


foot of the canvas: the table, seen as a triangular shape pointing upwards,

coincides precisely with the centre axis. Logically, that axis the middle

We

one of the

five

is

occupied by

women.

also need to register the different

ways of presentation within

individ-

and objects. The bodies are seen at once from the front and the way not naturally possible. Lines, hatchings and blocks of colour used to make random changes and de-formations in parts of the women's

ual figures side, in a

are

makes for entire areas of abstraction. Even so, Picasso has not completely abandoned mimetic representation. The lines and colours still plainly show naked women in various positions. It is

bodies, and Picasso's over-layering

because

this is still

apparent that the deviations from a conventional aes-

Three Women. 1907/08 Trois

Femmes

Oil on canvas, St.

shock

thetic raries,

us.

And

the shock

was only heightened,

for Picasso's

200

\

17S

cm

Petersburg, Hermitage

contempo-

by the ostentatious and provocative nakedness of the women.

Les Demoiselles d'Avignon

is

a meticulously considered, scrupulously cal-

The formal idiom and utterly new mere relinquishing of prevailing norms in the vis-

culated visual experience without equal. style

were

h\

no means a

ual arts but rather a tion.

The same

plan,

done

in

is

subth elaborated marriage of relinquishing and preserva-

true of the subject matter.

March 1907

(p. 66),

showed

The

first

complete compositional

a brothel in

Barcelona's Carrer

Woman with Pears Fernando. Femme aux poires (Femande) Oil on canvas, 2 \ 73 cm <

l)

New

York, Private collection

1909


Queen Isabella. 1908/09 La Reine Isabeau Oil on canvas, 92 x 73 cm Moscow, Pushkin Museum

Landscape. 1908

Paysage Watercolour and gouache on paper.

64 x 49.5 cm Bern.

Kunstmuseum Bern. Hermann and

Margrit Rupf Foundation

House

in

a Garden (House

and

Trees).

1908/09

Maisonnette dans unjardin (Maisonnette et arbres)

Oil on canvas. 92 x 73

cm

Moscow. Pushkin Museum

cTAvinyo, according to Picasso himself:

in other

do with the French town of Avignon.

ticular to

It

words,

it

was not

had nothing till

1916

in par-

that the

Andre Salmon put about the innocuous and simply wrong title by is now known. After he did the Basle drawing he changed the composition fundamentally, dropping everything that could unambiguously suggest a brothel interior. What is more, by citing the Venus de Milo in the two frontal figures, he also parodied the aesthetic canon of many eras. Picasso re-conceived the entirety of the European art tradition from the roots up, and used its constituents to create a new visual language. This painting, more than any other work of European Modernism, is a wholly achieved writer

which the picture

Landscape. 1908

analysis of the art of painting and of the nature of beauty in

Paxsage Oil on canvas, 73 x

60

Picasso marked the end of a historical process that had begun in the mid-

cm

Private collection

1

8th century.

status of

House

in the

Garden. 1908

The absolute

St.

cm

Petersburg, Hermitage

aesthetic impact of painting

and the autonomous

draughtsmanship and colour were established. This was a fun-

damental change. Where once content and form, message and image had

Maisonnette dans un jardin Oil on canvas, 73 x 61

art.

needed

to

content. If

harmonize,

ways of

now form became

dominant, and indeed became the

seeing, conceptualization, and cognition

were

to

be con71


I

Study for "Carnival at the Bistro". 1908/09

Etude pour "Carnaval au bistrot"

Gouache on

cm

paper. 32 x 49.5

Estate of the artist

Study for "Carnival at the Bistro". 1908/09 Etude pour "Carnaval au Pencil on paper. 3 Paris.

1

.3

x,

hist rot"

23.8

sidered inseparable, then the cognitive content of painting must logically enough be purely a matter of how the observer looked at it. Inevitably, once this view gained ground, painting would tend to lose its mimetic character and become detached from the things which it claimed to represent. French 1

9th-century

parallel

cm

And 1

908/09

peak

move towards

Watercolour and pencil on paper.

It

this

that

mous

Etude pour "Carnaval au bistrot"

24.2 x 27.5

and the

it

art

in Picasso's

marked

the arrival of

reached

is

autonomy of image.

Demoiselles d 'Avignon.

Cubism, slowly but

known

generally

portrait of art dealer

fulfils the

of post-Romantic northern Europe underwent a

greater abstraction, and greater

That evolution peaked

Musee Picasso

Study for "Carnival at the Bistro".

art

as Analytical

Ambroise Vollard

main requirements of a

portrait:

is it

surely: the first

major

Cubism. Picasso's

an arresting example

fa-

(p. 77).

represents the outer appear-

cm ance of a certain individual in a recognisable way. But the

Estate of the artist

playing his

skill at

random, no longer

artist is

restricted to defining an available form.

They have

of their own. So do the colours: lighter and darker shades, with for the subject, ject

is

obey the curious

dissected, as

also dis-

playing with the natural image. The lines are continued

it

little

at

a life

regard

The subkind of Cubism has

rules of the composition instead.

were, or analyzed.

And hence

this

become known as Analytical Cubism. Though the laws of the random afford common ground, the portrait of Vollard remains a distinctly different work from Les Demoiselles d'Avignon. In the 1907 painting the aim was closed form: in the 1910 work it is open figuration. The dissolution of the subject establishes a kind of grid in which overlaps and correspondences can constantly be read anew. The essential characteristics of the subject are preserved purely because Picasso is out to demonstrate that the autonomy of line and colour is on a par with straightforward representation, and just as convincing aesthetically. His

Loaves and Howl of Fruit on a Table, 1908 I'auis el

compotiei am.

fruits

Oil on canvas, 164 \ 132.5

Basel, Offentliche

Kunstmuseum 72

surune

to the traditional

table

lished.

cm

Kunstsammlung

new approach put an

scheme of foreground, middleground and background, and the demarcation of subject and setting, which were still present in the Demoiselles. Between the two extremes lay a three-year transitional period. It began in 1908 and can be seen as the phase in which Cubism was estab-

end

Basel.

In

midsummer 1908

House

in

Picasso

made

a

breakthrough with his landscapes.

a Garden (House and Trees) and the simph

-titled

Landscape


Houses on the

Hill (Horta de Ebro). 1909

Maisons sur la colline

cm Museum of Modern

Oil on canvas, 65 x 8

New

York. The

1

Art

s

-

1 ~*m Brick Factory in Tortosa (Factory at Horta

deEbro), 1909 Briqueterie a Tortosa (L'Usine) Oil on canvas, 50.7 \ 60.2 St.

Petersburg, Hermitage

cm


(p.

70) take the principle of autonomous spatial values and evolve forms that

make

a stereometrically stylized impression. At the

French painter Georges Braque had arrived of the landscape near UEstaque. At

which

is

why

the term

first

Cubism was coined

who was

a

time, the

L'Amitie

young

a similar position in paintings

glance, the motifs look like cubes

1908. Braque unsuccessfully submitted his Salon. Henri Matisse,

at

same

member

in the first place. In

new work

-

autumn

for the Paris

Oil on canvas. 152 x 101 St.

critic

Lei

Louis Vauxcelles that the pictures consisted of

lots

adopted the phrase

magazine Gil Bias when

in a

review he wrote

Braque showed the paintings thus (as

is

little

Kahnweiler gallery

in

cm

Petersburg. Hermitage

cubes. Vauxcelles

November. And

was using

the term

Cubism.

winter of 1908, following Braque's exhibition. Picasso and Braque

developed a give-and-take that often verged on collaboration. Both

and

in a Forest). 1908

chins uneforet)

so often the case) a misunderstanding produced a label: and by

1911 even, one In the

at the

in the

of

Dryade (Nu

Oil on canvas. 185 x 108 St.

cm

Petersburg. Hermitage

The Dryad (\ude

autumn

of the jury, observed to the

Friendship. 1907/08

this is

unique

in the history

of

art

- were developing

a

new

artists

-

style

was emphatically a mutual process: both artists have the same standing in the history of Cubism. The painstaking Braque, a slow worker, painted extraordinarily subtle works incomparable in their aesthetic effect. together.

It

75


By

was more

contrast, Picasso

and abrupt, jumping

to and fro amongst various formal options. Both were experimenting in their own way, and both, independently, hit upon significant innovations. For Picasso, draw-

restless

ing and the investigation of form were always the focus of his interest.

One

of the finest and most instructive of his games played with form

is

Loaves and Bowl of Fruit on a Table (p. 73), painted in winter 908/09, showing a drop-leaf table with loaves of bread, a cloth, a bowl of fruit and a lemon on it. The informing principle is not one of Cubist transfor-

the

still life

1

mation, though, so

much

as a genuine

gan by showing not objects

in a still life but carnival

merry-makers

number of studies

Picasso pursued his idea through a It is

metamorphosis - for the picture bein a bistro!

(p. 72).

characteristic of Picasso (and a contrast to Braque) that he never

Cubism purely

in

terms of painting.

various media, using various motifs.

volume

He tackled spatial values and planes in As in 1906, he explored questions of

in sculpture, to see if they too

had autonomous values.

Head of a Woman (Fernande), Picasso made his experiment using

In preparing

Fernande Oli-

the near-lifesize

a portrait of

vier (p. 61

plaster; a small edition

),

later cast in

bronze for Vollard. In

saw

this sculpture,

made of particles roughly

was

three-dimensional volume

The ruling structural principle is an equilibrium of volume and emptiness. The most important points - the eye sockets, nose, lips - are done in accordance with their natuappears to be

ral

appearance. But

features

in the

equal

forehead, cheeks and neck the natural

has been inverted - most noticeably

new rhythmic

in size.

in the

lie

of the

neck and nape - so

that a

sense arises that introduces dynamics to the work. In the paint-

ings, this analytic deconstruction of

form inevitably led

to the

presence of

non-representational elements. In 1910, Picasso

straction, strate that tion.

and Braque took

their strategy to the borders

producing paintings of great beauty

in art

artistic

charm which

need not be pinned down

Cubism now entered

a

somewhat

of pure ab-

clearly

demon-

to illusionist representa-

different phase,

one

that

was heralded

new visual forms different in structure who had already used single letters of the alphabet in Cubist paintings of 1909. now took to using entire words. Another innovation also originated with Braque. As a youngster he had in

1911 and led the following year to

and principle. Braque.

Man with a Moustache and a Clarinet. Homme moustachu a la clarinette Ink, India ink Paris.

1911

and black chalk. 30.8 x 19.5

cm

been an apprentice house painter, and was familiar with a number of trade techniques, such as the

Musee Picasso

whole area of

"comb" -

parallel lines.

a template for mechanically establishing a

Braque used

it

to imitate the graining

of wood,

and achieved a higher level of illusionism, conveying not only the appearance but also the material consistency of an object - a technical

trick daz-

borrowed the method for a number of combination with letters. Cubism had changed con-

zlingly and absurdly used! Picasso still lifes,

sometimes

siderably.

A "simple"

tion of a picture

in

deconstruction of the mimetic, representational func-

had become an

art

which used the

picture, itself a system o\

random contingency of signs. To understand how radical an innovation Synthetic Cubism in fact was. we need only consider the work of other artists at the time. In 1911 and 1912, there were two major exhibitions by a group of artists who called themselves Cubists. This group was led by Albert Glei/es and Jean Metzinger and among the most important members were Pernand I.eger and Rosigns, to prove the

Portrait of imbroise Vollard,

cm Vluseum

c I

>

I

f

bert Delaunay.

The

pictures they exhibited, however, were meiel\ pleasing

variants of Braque's idiom of 1908; and their true point o( reference

was

Ce/anne. not the revolutionarj work of Picasso and Braque. Though the)


/

S/^r


Violin

Vwlon

VolieEva", 1912 " "Jolie Eva

Oil on canvas.

60

x 81

attracted attention

and indeed provoked violent controversy,

neither radical nor new.

cm tially a

Stuttgart, Staatscalerie Stuttgart

product of the

The

new environment

hibited, a 20th-century

environment

in

in

which

artists

work was was essen-

their

distorted perception of their status

worked and ex-

which the machinery of the

art trade

had become more dominant than ever before. Till the

decisive Cubist breakthrough. Picasso's career

depended on

was one

who knew

represented an investment In his future productivity. Everyone

what was what

realized, after

something new. Thus so's,

including

all

all,

that

Salon

his sketches, for

2500

German

francs.

Both Picasso and Braque

dealer Daniel Henry

Kahnw eiler. who

An

this

paid a fixed price for their startling new work. artists a

was being superseded by

art

1907 Vollard bought up everything of Picas-

in early

had contracts with the young gave the

that

dealers' speculation. His early exhibition at Vollard's in 1901

arrangement of

degree of security and also enabled them to ignore the pro-

cesses of official recognition. Picasso, in fact, never exhibited

at a

Paris

Salon; instead. Kahnweiler sold his work to collectors, and introduced The Aficionado (The Torero). 1912 L'Afii

Oil on Basel,

Kunstmui 78

,

Braque had exhibitions abroad -

cm

Kunstsammlung

it

to

other galleries and dealers via his contacts. In 1911. both Picasso and

Torero) >

kind

Basel.

instance.

in the

Galerie Thannhauser

These shows familiarized experts with

ignored by the broader public.

their

in

Munich,

work but were

for

largely


3.U3UI9J


The

official

Cubist shows of 191

1.

at

represented, inevitably changed things. into the

open and made

which Picasso and Braque were not

The public debate forced

their

imperative to establish their significance in the

it

a theoretical, popularizing

view of Cubism

exemplar. But numerous writers

in

that took

Cezanne

Du

sources

cannee

in the history

cubisme,

cord. 29 x 37

cm

Paris.

Musee Picasso

Bottle

on a Table. 1912

Picasso's circle published other views.

of Modernist

art:

his Histoire

du cubisme. and La jeune peinture frangaise. He was the so's

la chaise

as the great

That same year. Andre Salmon published two books which are seen vital

Life with Chair Caning. 1912

Suture morte a

Oil on oilcloth on canvas framed with

evolution of Cubism. In 1912 Metzinger and Gleizes published

day as

work

Still

to this

anecdotique

first to stress

Picas-

key position and the seminal importance of Les Demoiselles d'Avignon

in the

founding of Cubism. Then

cubistes appeared, and

in

1913 Apollinaire's book Les peintres

made an attempt

to distinguish

and characterize

groupings within the movement. Braque and Picasso were labelled "scientific"

Cubists.

All of this produced a fundamental revaluation of ual painters.

Now

Cubism and

the individ-

Picasso stood centre-stage, vilified and acclaimed as the

innovator par excellence.

Though

it

does not

viewed ever since as Picasso's junior

fit

the facts.

Braque has been

partner. This too can be

accounted for

Bouteille sur une table

Papiers colles and charcoal on

newspaper. 62 Paris.

\

44

cm

Musee Picasso 81


we

scene of the time. Before Cubism. Picasso already had a name, while Braque was merely the young man among the Fauves. Though if

look

at the art

Picasso was the elder by a mere half year, he retained his advantage. the start

it

was

a financial advantage too: though both artists

From

were under con-

Kahnweiler. the dealer paid Picasso four times what he paid Braque

tract to

for his Cubist work. This appears to have

had no effect on the two

artists'

personal relations, though, and Picasso certainly seems to have considered

Braque

his equal.

The

they wrote each other - even

letters

partly playing to the gallery, so to speak

- record

if

they were

real friendship

and mutual

respect.

Their exchange entered a

appealed to terials

in

new phase

more ways than

and methods familiar

in 1912.

The

tactile

sense could be

ma-

paint and a drawing pencil. Braque tested

house decorator but new to

to the

art.

Along

with templates and other illusionist tricks, he mixed his paint with sand or plaster to create a rough, textured surface like that of a relief. In place of two-

dimensional, surface mimesis on canvas or panel, Braque textures of various kinds as an expressive value in cally (as

we can now

see),

was

itself.

now

used material

The next

to redefine the visual function

step, logi-

of technique

and of the material(s) used. In early 1912. following a stay at Sorgues,

new work.

It

was three-dimensional. He had been

together, using paper or cardboard,

The

spatial

niques.

He

Braque showed Picasso

cutting sculptural objects

and then painting or drawing over them.

experiment was designed as a way of assessing then applied the

same

was born

effects

and

(cf.

illusionist tech-

Bottle of Bass, Glass

and Newspaper. 1914

Bouteille de Bass, verre et journal Tinplate. sand, wire and paper,

14x8.5 cm Musee Picasso

20.7 x Paris.

ideas to two-dimensional work, retaining

paper and cardboard as materials; and a colles.

his

new kind of work,

the papiers

pp.80, 86 and 87). Subsequently he varied the textural

tried out further

ways of developing them.

In particular,

pre-formed, printed, coloured and structured pieces of paper.

And

he used

for Pi-

casso. Braque's latest innovations provided the occasion to extend Cubism's visual system.

The graphic structure of printed paper produced a quality that was figuratively random in terms of a picture's import. In 1913 Picasso produced a number of masterly works of striking economy of means, one of the finest of them being the Violin (p. 87). Two scraps of newspaper, a few lines and charcoal hatchings - and the picture is finished. It is one of the loveliest and most

intelligent Cubist pictures. First, Picasso clipped an irregular piece of Violin,

newspaper and stuck

it

on cardboard. Then he drew a stylized violin's neck

with the characteristic curled head. Following the precept of Analytical Cub-

Cut metal, painted, with iron wire.

ism, he added formally deconstructed lines to suggest the parts of a violin.

100.1

The newspaper text is still decipherable, but its original function and meaning have vanished. Though identifiably from a paper, it is seen purely as a graphic design, an image. The yellowing adds an extra interest, echoing

Paris.

the his

brownish colour of the

violin.

But Picasso did not merely defamiliarize

found material: the part of the newspaper from which he had clipped the

first

was reversed and placed

function being at odds with

at

its

top right, where

identity as a

it

acts as a

background,

newspaper fragment.

We

this

1915

Viol on

PAGE

x63.7x 18 cm Musee Picasso

84:

Violin. 1912

Violon accroche

au mar

Oil and sand on canvas. 65 x

are of-

fered an object and spatial dimensions - but. even as Picasso establishes

Bern.

46 cm

Kunstmuseum Bern. Hermann and

Margrit Rupt" Foundation

them, he destroys them once again. The newspaper scraps are placed to

mark an irregular vertical diagonal, a visual instability which the artist has echoed in the charcoal hatching. The tonal polarity creates a balance of the

PAGE

85:

Violin at

a Cafe

Violon au

(Violin, Glass, Bottle).

1913

cafe' (Violon, verre, bouteille)

white card, the printed and yellowed paper, and the economical lines of the

Oil on canvas. 81 x

drawing.

Lucerne. Galerie Rosengart

54

cm

83


\

iulin

and Sheet Music. 1412

Violon etfeuille de musique

Papiers colles on cardboard. 78 x 65 Paris.

The form and content of the ily

picture are at variance, but they are necessar-

combined; and thus a subtle tension of great aesthetic and

presence

is

created. This defamiliarization

still

works

intellectual

entirely within the

parameters of mimetic iconography. Picasso went about his work quite ferently in the collage technique he devised at the time. In collage

papier colle not only the

-

an object

medium

is

introduced into a context in such a

but also the style and meaning

May

way

dif-

- unlike as to alter

of the motif. Still Life

work of this new method. A composition in the manner of Analytical Cubism has been joined to a slant rectangular area showing the weave of a cane chair. This naturalistic component is at odds with the style of the rest. In fact it is not a representational piece of work by the artist, but a printed scrap of oilcloth The semblance of reality is deployed as an illusion, identified as such, and exploited iconographically. During this phase of Cubism, using new materials and techniques. Picasso was exploring the problem of spatial values with Chair Caning

in the illusion

(p.

81

),

done

86

in

established by pictures.

from three-dimensional work.

cm

Musee Picasso

1912,

Many

is

the cornerstone

of his works therefore started

Violin, 1913/14

Violon

Papiers col Ices and charcoal on paper.

62

\

47

cm

Pans. Musee National d'ail

Centre Georges Pompidou

Modeme,


It


Guitar. 1912

Guitare

Cardboard, paper, canvas, string and pencil, 22.8 x 14.5 x 7 Paris,

ss

Musee Picasso

cm


Guitar and Bottle of Bass. 1913 Gititare et boitteille

de Buss

Pieces of wood, paper, charcoal and nails

on wooden board. 89.5 x 80 x 14 Paris.

cm

Musee Picasso

89


Alongside the papiers colles he began (cf. p. 88).

The instrument

is

make

to

guitars out of cardboard

crudely but recognisably made: the brown

colours of the cardboard, reminiscent of the

wood of guitars,

Painted bronze after a

doubtless help

us in the recognition. But inappropriate materials are used too, and spatial

values subverted.

The

lid,

flattened to equal status. tional

The

basic Cubist rule of combining the representato these

works

too.

But

in contrast to

ical

Cubism, which dissected

objects, here they are re-assembled.

this

reason a different term

used: Synthetic Cubism.

Basically sions. its

As

it

this line,

is

Picasso devised another

new

Analyt-

And

with

York. The

Museum

of

cm

Modern Art

.

wax maquette

with

silver absinthe spoon. 21.5 x 16.5 x 8.5

cm

.

form, the assemblage.

well as wood, Picasso used metal here; but

original textural properties

The Glass of Absinthe 1914 Le Verre a" absinthe

Private collection

transposed the methods and effects of collage into three dimenit

was painted

over,

and

were no longer recognisable. Picasso also

The Glass of Absinthe. 1914 Le Verre a" absinthe Painted bronze after a

wax maquette with

cm Museum of

silver absinthe spoon. 21.5 x 16.5 x 8.5

Philadelphia (PA). Philadelphia Art, A. E. Gallatin Collection

transparent volume, with various highlights occasioned by the light, into

which he then juxtaposed, adding a genuine

isolated zones

a

New

Painted bronze after a

for

combined multi-level semantic defamiliarizations with tandem aesthetic and intellectual appeals in his only regular sculpture from this period, a famous serial work of which six copies were made: The Glass of Absinthe (p. 91). He made a wax and plasticine mould and variously painted the bronze casts. Absinthe (a vermouth brandy now banned because it is a health risk) was drunk from a glass goblet of the kind the sculpture shows. Picasso dissolved its

wax maquette

silver absinthe spoon, 21.5 x 16.5 x 8.5

bottom and side walls of the cardboard boxes are

and the random applies

Following

The Glass of Absinthe, 1914 Le Verre d 'absinthe

wax model of a sugar lump. The

distinction

between

reality

resentation inevitably vanished, because the spoon too

representation of thetic

(the

Cubism,

is

itself;

the contrast

Thus

The various

spoon with

and simple rep-

now became

only a

but what matters, in terms of the principles of Syn-

between conventionally

spoon and sugar) and Cubist methods.

observed.

little

faithful representation

In all six copies this contrast

is

painting merely served purposes of accentuation.

the processes of deception underlying the art of illusion are excel-

lently displayed in the

assemblages and sculptures of Synthetic Cubism.

done

in

1915 and a

full

metre high.

It is

made of cut

sheet

with Green Peas. 1912

Le Pigeon Pi-

casso arguably took this line of thinking to the logical extreme in his metal Violin (p. 82),

Dove

au.x petits pois

Oil on canvas, 65 x Paris,

Ville

54

cm

Musee d'Art Moderne de

la

de Paris

91


metal, but the parts are wired in and colourfully overpainted so that the na-

once again not immediately apparent. The volume of the metal components and the spatial values implied by the painting are at ture of the material

variance.

is

The impact

is

further blurred because Picasso has interchanged spa-

values. Parts that should

tial

occupy a foreground position

object sup-

in the

posedly represented, and others that would be further from us in a conven-

have exchanged places. The two holes

tional three-dimensional treatment,

soundboard are not depressions or holes

the

in the

nents. Reversing their state in the real world, they

in

metal but added compo-

have here become small

Then there are the colours, white, brown ones suggesting the actual colour

rectangular boxes lying on the board.

black and blue areas alongside the

of a violin. Black areas seem suggestive of shadow, just as white ones imply bright light; yet this contrasts with the

and

spatial approaches,

and the

art

way

things appear in reality. Graphic

of the painter, have

all

been combined

in

a sophisticated synthesis in this sculptural construction.

This playful approach to form can hardly be taken any further without ex-

ceeding the bounds of meaning - and evolving an altogether idiom. Constructions such as these thus took its

options.

stylistic

And

ever since, from

Dada

Cubism

new

to the furthest limit

to the present day, artists

Cubism gained ground

it

ond decade of the century he was already being seen itiated the great

\ri: I

)il

on York,

cm Modem

105.1 I

he

Museum

of

\n

it

art.

as the artist

In the sec-

who

in-

Modernist breakthrough. Whenever new movements were

was Picasso and his work he became the hero of 20th-century

(

of every

also founded inter-

national recognition of Picasso's special status in 20th-century

Harlequin, 1915

of

persuasion have used and developed the methods evolved by Cub-

ism. Small wonder, then, that as

started,

artistic

that served as a rallying cry. In a art.

word:


5 Classicism and Surrealism 1916-1936

The work Picasso did from 1916 to 1924 was among the most baffling in his entire output. The public, his critics, and fellow artists were now familiar with him as the founder of Cubism and indeed of modern art. But now the great iconoclast bewildered the experts and general public alike

of a monumental, statuesque kind, painting classicist

to a representational art

nudes, portraits, scenes, and works in the first sight

quite incompatible

work matched

the

by returning

mood

-

all in

spirit

same

the

of Synthetic

Cubism -

at

And yet Picasso's own intentions as an

period.

of the age, and pursued his

artist.

Now

an established

artist,

Picasso

thus had an entree into high society.

moved in theatre and ballet circles, and He saw Naples and Pompeii; he saw the

most important works of classical art; and changes in the art world accompanied those in his personal life. France saw itself as the direct

originals of the

descendant of antiquity, the guardian of values of the ancient world was It is

certain that these years of

human

common

values; and a return to the

Mediterranean countries.

in all the

Modernism were by no means of a

piece,

though. There was a strong tendency to render the formal features of avant-

garde

purely decorative.

art

Remarkably enough, Picasso was very

interested in the applied arts at that

From 9 6 to 924 he was indrama productions. The first of these - designs for the curtain (pp. 98/99). set and costumes of the ballet Parade was also the most important. Together with Jean Cocteau, Eric Satie and choreographer Leonide Massine he evolved an overall concept that adapted Cocteau's original idea somewhat, marrying Cubist style and figural reptime, primarily in art design for the theatre.

volved

in

no fewer than eight

1

1

Photograph,

the Studio

in

c.

1917

ballet or

resentation in a novel way. This

is

French and American managers

(p. 97).

high,

1

Olga Picasso

particularly striking in the figures of the

Both figures are about three metres

formed from various surfaces of painted papier mache, wood, cloth

and even metal, slotted and notched into each Parisian boulevard trees

- suggest

other.

the countries the

The motifs - skyscrapers, managers come from, and

underpin the Futurist principle of simultaneity. The managers are the formal

idiom of Cubism

in

motion as they stomp

their robotic

way

personifying the mechanization and inhumanity of modern In the

eyes of fellow

tions to questions that

questions of

how

artists,

Picasso's

Parade provided exemplary

were then interesting many

to create a

new

artists

solu-

throughout Europe,

unity out of performance, choreography,

music, set design and costumes. But

it

would be wrong

the applied arts and the influence of a classicizing as the

across the stage, life.

Portrait

ofOlga

(alter the

to see his interest in

mood

in the arts in

France

main cause of Picasso's own classicism. The inadequacy of any one-

in

an Armchair. 1917

photograph above)

Port rail d'Olga clans nn fauteuil Oil on canvas. [30 x 88.8 Paris.

cm

Musee Picasso 95


sided view can be readily seen

works with the European to his

work

as

it is

if

we

grasp the irreconcilability of his

classical ideal in art.

to classicism,

The human image

and the tendency

to

is

own

central

monumentalize

un-

it

mistakable. But in contrast to classical tradition his treatment ignores principles of balance

and goes for monstrous and disproportioned physical mass.

"Parade": Costume of the French Manager. 1917 "Parade": Costume de

Cardboard and

managerfrangais

cloth, painted.

approx. 200 x 100

x80 cm

Original destroyed (photo dated 1917)

Picasso was exchanging the two poles of formal visual definition, the

mimetic and the Cubist. This exchange was a return

to first principles.

A re-

seems logical since Cubism could go no further. To attempt to go on would have meant adopting total abstraction - a step that other artists did

turn

visual

medium prompted

this is a consideration that critics.

":

Cardboard and

Picasso's return: photography. Hitherto,

has been too

little

cloth, painted.

100x80cm

approx. 200 x

take at the time.

Anew

"Parade": Costume of the American Manager, 1917 "Parade Costume de manager americain

Original destroyed (photo dated 1917)

taken into account by Picasso's

Yet Picasso was an enthusiastic photographer as far back as Cubist

days, and Picasso will inevitably have noticed the distinctive features of the

photographic image. The unfinished Portrait ofOlga painted in 1917, the 1923 Paul, the Artist's Son, on a studies of dancers (Olga

1

among them) and of Sergei Diaghilev and

Seligsberg or Igor Stravinsky

(p. 100),

Nor must we

many

graphs.

in an Armchair (p. 94) Donkey (p. 10), his

forget his

were

all

Alfred

painted or drawn from photo-

copies and variations of works of

art

The Peasants Repast (after I^e Nain). 1917 Le Retou r du baptime (d'apres Le Nain) Oil on canvas. 162 x 118 cm '

Paris,

Musee Picasso 97


Curtain for "Parade".

1917 I

,

Rideau de "Parade"

Tempera on 10.6 x 17.25 Paris

cloth,

m

Musle National lodeme, Centre

Pompidou


ti-(M-

seen

among

photographic reproduction. Line studies predominate

in

these

works, reduced to essentials and almost completely disregarding shades of Sisley

and His

colours or indications of volume.

Wife. 1919

(after a painting

by Renoir)

Le Menage Sisley Pencil on paper. 3 Paris.

Linear austerity, a predilection for a purely linear late

1

x 23.8

cm

18th-century classicist

art.

was

style,

a feature of

People therefore assumed a link between that

period and Picasso. But the similarity

only superficial. Rather. Picasso

is

Musee Picasso

was

trying to apply the stylistic resources of photography to painting and

drawing. Black and white photography translates natural colours into a tonal scale

from white through grey

to black,

and renders subjects

grees of clarity or unclarity according to the depth of field.

documentary precision

is

conveyed;

in reality, the

in

An

varying de-

impression of

recorded scene

is

defamil-

iarized.

Photography either radically polarizes available contrasts or blurs

them

the focus or light are not right.

if

The distance from

the photographed

subject can reinforce or distort the sense of perspective. At ture that results has a character all

drawn

likenesses, but

photography

it

is

its

own.

not faithful.

And

that attracted Picasso to the

The nature of

his

It

may be more

all

events, the pic-

precise than hand-

was these peculiar medium. it

features of

concerns can readily be deduced from the study after a

photo of Diaghilev and Seligsberg

(p. 100),

drawn

in outline,

with only occa-

sional charcoal accentuation to suggest volume. Picasso has accentuated the

very features a photograph highlights: eyes. nose, mouth, folds

The seated man seems build above the angle loo

it.

rather too bulky below the waist

in clothing.

compared with

his

an impression caused by the slightly distorted perspective of

from which the original picture was taken.


PAGE

TOP LEFT

100

Portrait of Sergei Diaghilev

and Alfred

Seligsberg. 1919 (altera photograph) Portrait de Serge Diaghilev et

d Alfred

Seligsberg

Charcoal and pencil on paper. 63.5 x 49.6 Paris.

PAGE

cm

Musee Picasso TOP RIGHT

100

Portrait of Igor Stravinsky. 1920 (after a

photograph)

Portrait

d Igor Stravinsky

Pencil on paper. 61.5 x 48.5 Paris.

cm

Musee Picasso

Landscape near Juan-les-Pins. 1920 Paysage de Juan-les-Pins Oil on canvas. Paris.

48 x 68

cm

Musee Picasso

Studies. 1920

Etudes Oil

on canvas. 100 x 81

Paris.

cm

Musee Picasso 101


Sleeping Peasants, 1919

La

Picasso approached the unfinished portrait of his wife Olga

Sieste

The

ilar fashion.

figure

is

cropped

at the

(p.

94) in sim-

knee and placed vertically

in the

Tempera, watercolour and pencil, 31.1 x 48.9

New

York, The

Abby

right-hand two-thirds of the composition. In her

cm Museum

of Modern Art,

Aldrich Rockefeller Bequest

her crossed the elbow,

left leg,

she

left

hand, resting lightly on

holding a half-open fan. Her right arm, crooked

is

out-stretched across the back of the armchair.

is

eyes are gazing dreamily into nowhere, or within her lustreless dark

which

is

brown dress

own

at

Her wide-open inner depths. The

contrasts with her light flesh, the colour of

The armchair is covered in a and yellow flowers, purple grapes and green leaves - a

also the colour of the canvas ground.

striking fabric of red floral pattern

somewhat muted areas of the picture do

which makes the loudest visual impact but

by the patterning of the dress and

fan.

These agitated

is

not distract from the true subject, the portrait, but in fact lend emphasis to

This highlighting

is

further assisted

by Picasso's indifference

material qualities of the fabrics: Olga's face, by contrast, great sensitivity.

And

that

was what Picasso was out

The canvas, however, was not

to

is

do

it.

to the textural.

painted with

in this painting.

yet filled.

Picasso clearly intended to finish the picture. But doing so posed a problem: he would have had to complete the composition - and the photo af-

forded him no help

in his

quest for the right counterbalance

in

what

re-

mained to be painted. Everything in the photo was of roughly equal clarity, and thus of roughly equal status. A photograph is like a sampler of forms, all The Bathers. 1) IX / es am; neuses

of equal value;

it

differentiation.

A painting,

I

16.3 \ 21.7 â&#x20AC;˘',

Picasso

cm

is

only the response

sense of forms - otherwise tial

towards

its

in the beholder's

however, unlike a photo, it

is

eye built

that introduces

on

a hierarchical

cannot easily be grasped. The camera

is

impar-

subjects and therefore able to open up surprising perspectives


Family on the Seashore. 1922 Famille au borcl de la

mer

Oil on panel, 17.6 x 20.2 Paris,

cm

Musee Picasso

Woman and Child on the Seashore. Femme et enfant au bord de la mer Oil on canvas, 143 x 162 cm Chicago

(IL).

The Art

Institute

of Chicago

Seated Nude Drying Her Foot. 1921

Femme nue Pastel

assise s'essuyanl le pied

on paper. 66

Private collection

\

50.8

cm

1921


or even, in extreme cases, convey almost Cubist visual experiences using

Women Running on

purely representational means. So Picasso abandoned work on the painting

(Curtain for the ballet Le Train bleu. 1924)

at this point. It is all the

more

attractive for

Deux Femmes courant sur la plage

being unfinished: the neutral

(La Course)

canvas counteracts the tension between the woman's figure and the colourful, rather

loud pattern of the armchair.

Had he continued

painting. Picasso

would probably have become entangled in a formal jungle. Picasso viewed the photograph as a thoroughly artificial mal principle of which resided

in a

the Beach. 1922

Gouache on plywood. 32.5 Paris.

x 42.1

cm

Musee Picasso

original, the for-

curiously dialectical relationship of po-

Every recognisable

larities to levelled-out uniformities.

from every other; yet the sheer number of

detail

was

distinct

details defied the eye. Polarity

and uniformity were inseparable. Thus, the formal constituents of the image

-

line, surface,

depth modelling - were themselves distinct.

true of photographs in general

was

also true of reproductions of artworks,

images constituting a twofold defamiliarization. as

working with photography, returned

means a

to the

it

were.

mimetic image,

work from 1916 to 1924 was every Cubist work. He was altogether progressive in

step back. His

garde as his

was simply trying something

And what was

different.

When it

Picasso,

was by no The Pipes of Pan. 1923 La Flute de Pan

bit as avant-

his approach.

He

Oil on canvas. 205 x 174.5 Paris.

cm

Musee Picasso 107


The levers. 1923 Les Amoureux Oil on canvas, 130.2 x 97.2

cm

Washington (DC), National Gallery of

Art.

Chester Dale Collection

Woman

with Blue

La Feinnie au

1923

Veil.

voile bleu

Oil on canvas. 100.3 x 81.3

cm

Los Angeles (CA), Los Angeles County

Museum

Portrait

of Art

ofOlga (Olga

in

Pensive Mood).

1923 Portrait d'Olga (Olga pensive)

The Reading of the La Lecture de

Letter.

1

la lettre

Oil on canvas, 184 x 105

Pans. Musee Picasso

42

Pastel

and pencil on paper. 104 x 71

Paris.

Musee

cm

Picasso

cm Portrait of Olga. 1923

Portrait d'Olga Pastel

and pencil on paper. 100

\ SI

Washington (DC). National Callers Chester Dale Collection

I

OS

cm o\ Art.


At

was going

that time, a great deal of thought

potential of photography,

and

which other visual

could

artists

had achieved recognition as an

it

trying to bring

new

and

art

from

From about 1920

in fact learn.

daists. Surrealists, Soviet Constructivists all

into the nature

and

on. DaBauhaus were

artists at the

ideas to visual art with the help of experimental

photography.

And

Picasso was trying to do the same. All of his figure drawings after

1916 were constructed according and for

that reason they lack

variability of line. Lines

to the basic principles of

something we usually find

can be thick or

the gradations chosen can

make

and His Wife

Sisley

astonishing effect,

(p. 100),

at

an

in

drawing:

art

deep black or pale grey, and rhythm of a picture by emphasiz-

thin,

the visual

ing certain portions and not others.

composers Satie and Stravinsky

photography -

Not so

in Picasso.

From

his portraits of

copy of Renoir's

(p. 100) to his

portrait of

the lines are almost mechanically even.

once cold and

It is

an

utterly stylized.

Picasso was not only adopting the photographic contour. His paintings Paul, the Artist's Son, on a Donkey. 1923 Paul,

fils

de

I' anisic,

a deux cms

Oil on canvas. 100 x 81

cm

and drawings also borrowed the characteristic overemphasis of light-dark contrasts in defining volume, the juxtaposition of the linear and the spatial,

even the distortions of perspective.

Bernard Ruiz-Picasso Collection

Paris.

He

still

used the visual

artist's

methods, thus often mixing forms. In the Stravinsky

tional

conven-

portrait, for

example, the composer's limbs are outsize, combining photographic distor-

works

tion with the cartoonist's technique. In such

as

The Reading of the

Letter (p. 108) or the great nudes of 1921-22, photographic harshness in the contrast of light and

shadow

is

combined with a

sculpturally modelled three-

dimensionality, adding a slight distortion of perspective. These massive

machine-made bodies

figures with dark eye sockets and seemingly

are the

result.

Other pictures present linear figures seen against neutral, non-representational areas of colour. In these, Picasso

blended the techniques of Synthetic

Cubism with the kind of mimesis he was borrowing from photography. He was using motifs drawn from his stock repertoire: harlequins, mothers with children, nudes,

still lifes,

the beach scenes

nudes

studies of bullfights, portraits.

New

and bathers. These gave Picasso the chance

motifs were

to test his

And he was also looking back to art history. His Women Running on the Beach (p. 107), uses motif

contexts of action.

in

arresting

motion study,

from Raphael's Vatican frescoes and from an ancient Medean sarcophagus in the National Museum in Rome, both works Picasso saw in 1917.

details

Paul Drawing. 1923 Paul dessinant Oil on canvas, 130 x 97.5

cm

Musee Picasso

Paris.

The range of

different techniques Picasso

with identity of craftsmanship and form. canvas, he painted on

wooden panels

ferred pastel to canvas PAGE

(p.

112:

Paul en arlequin

cm

As work

Musee Picasso

Paris.

is

Salvado), 1923

Paris,

no

must have been pastel

\rlequin assis (Le Peintre Jacinto Salvado)

cam as.

I

30

\

l

)7

as in centuries it

shared a concern

with

gone

by.

oil

on

He even

trans-

The Reading of the Letter of pastel chalk on a rough

oils:

textural effect

cm

Musce National d'Art Moderne, s Pompidou

experiments were

all

subsumed

into

(p. 106).

Over fifty studies in sketchbooks and on single the number of preliminary studies for the painting

far greater, for Picasso also

drawings of bathers on the beach for

used his 1920-1921 pencil and his

new

purpose.

He

the idea of tightly ordered groups of standing and seated figures.

turned

The

one major

recapitulating his experience throughout this period: The Pipes of Pan

sheets have survived, but

113:

Seated Harlequin (The Painter Jacinto

on

The

in earlier periods, the

of the year 1923

Oil

and combined

a fine example.

all

well as painting in

canvas ground curiously reinforces tonal contrasts.

Paul as Harlequin. 1924 Oil on canvas. 130 x 97.5

108)

was using

As

to this idea in 1923. linking

result

was

it

the final big painting

to

settled

He

on

re-

bacchanalian motifs from antiquity.

completed

in

summer

1923.


Rough brown, beige and sandy

areas provide a backdrop to the youths,

foregrounding them through the contrast, accentuating the

spatiality.

rounding out the centripetal composition. The two figures

illustrate Picasso's

methods of three-dimensional modelling: darker and

and

Three Musicians.

Oil

lighter shades, vari-

ously contrasting, to indicate a range of volume qualities from

flat to

1

92

Musiciens aux masques

on cam

New

as.

York. The

203

\

1

SS

Museum

cm of

Modern

Mrs. Simon Guggenheim Fund

round.

together with the natural proportions of the bodies, heighten the picture's

evocativeness. Like Picasso's entire output from 1916 to 1924, this picture

was

a variation

on others, uniting

one place subject-matter with shades of

in

antiquity, classical models, a classicist

mode of composition, and

a style

derived from photography and blended with Synthetic Cubism. In the

Picasso

year 1928,

made

in the Paris

lour constructions using iron wire and sheet metal, three o(

which have survived

(p.

1

18).

metres high, and economical I

I

-I

studio of the Spanish sculptor Julio Gonzales,

They

are fairly small,

in their

from 38

to

60

centi-

use of iron wire of various thicknesses.

The Dance. 1925 In Danse Oil on canvas,

London,

tale

215 x 142 em

Gallen

Art.


Studio with Plaster Head, 1925

At

Tete et bras de pldtre

Oil on canvas. 98.

New

York. The

1

x

first

glance these constructions look complicated and confusing. But on

closer inspection 1

3

Museum

.2

1

of

cm

Modem

Art

we

see

two fundamental

features.

On

the

one hand, they

present a juxtaposition of geometrical shapes, rectangles, triangles and lipses

grouped

spatially into irregular stereometric configurations

pyramids, squashed cubes.

- small spheres, the

human

the other hand, at points there are details

discs, irregular tricorn

figure. This

what looked

On

el-

- extended

encourages us

totally abstract at first

ends - recalling, however remotely,

to read the

now seems

to

works

entirely differently:

be a stylized representa-

tional figure.

The works

are like picture puzzles. Picasso's remarkable and noteworthy

handling of the fundamentals of sculpture lates

form

is

striking.

into an issue of linear definition. This

sman, not the sculptor.

is

The use of wire

trans-

a principle of the draught-

works are three-dimensional They were given the label "spatial

Strictly speaking, these

transfers of two-dimensional graphics.

drawings" by Kahnweiler. The ambiguity of formal meaning, the open expressive significance of an art object, the fundamental doubts concerning

images conveyed by draughtsmanship -

all

these basic issues entered into

Picasso's picture puzzles, on page and plinth alike. In 1932. this process culThe Sculptor, 1931 l.c

minated

Sculpteur

Oil on plywood, Paris,

116

I

28.5

Mus6e Picasso

x

l

)d

cm

this

in the oil

work

ment, the

at

Bather with Bench Ball

once proves

sum of a

it

(p. 126).

The

visual opulence o\

a peak achievement, a final point along a develop-

long series of studies, experiments and insights.


Figure (Maquette for a Memorial to ApoUinaire). 1928 Figure (Maquette pour un

monument

a"ApoUinaire)

PAGE

Iron wire and sheet metal.

Guitar. 1926

50.5 x 18.5x40.8 Paris.

cm

1

19

TOP:

Guitare

Musee Picasso

String, newspaper, sackcloth

painted canvas, 96 x 130

Figure (Maquette for a Memorial

to

and

nails

on

cm

Musee Picasso

Paris.

ApoUinaire). 1928 Figure (Maquette pour un

monument

PAGE

d'ApoUinaire) Iron wire Paris.

and sheet metal, 60.5

Musee Picasso

119

BOTTOM

LEFT:

Guitar. 1926 \ 15 x

34

cm

Guitare

Cardboard with India

ink. string, tulle

and pencil on cardboard. 13.S

PAGE

\ 12.6

Musee Picasso

Paris.

119

BOTTOM RICH

I

Guitar. 1926

Guitare

Cardboard,

tulle, string

and pencil

on cardboard, 12.5 \ 10.4 Paris.

MS

Musee Picasso

cm

cm


The Studio, 1927/28 L' Atelier Oil on canvas, 149.9 x 231.2

New

The composition, seemingly simple and

yet subtle,

is

York, The

Museum

cm

of Moderrn Art

typical of Picasso in

use of correspondences and contrasts. Angular forms are juxtaposed with

its

rounded ones;

naturalistic features

appear alongside abstract. Spheres and

shapes like clubs, thick, sweeping, dense, form a figure that has a distantly

human appearance. Legs

apart,

arms crossed as she

leaps, the bather has just

caught a ball that makes a distinctly tiny impression beside her bulky body.

The

figure almost completely

vertical diagonal,

making

Taken with the clumsiness of the beach cabin tinctly

and the blue

this

movement

at liberty to

all

the

more dynamic.

body, the crass pattern of the bathing

view of

sea, Picasso's

life at

the seaside

at that

period in another

movement that had emerged from Dada: Surrealism. In the summer of 1923 Picasso met the leader of the movement, Andre Breton, and did an etching of him. valid

it

mode of perceiving

suit,

dis-

in itself

His juggling with form found support

Surrealist Manifesto. In

is

was devoid of content; so he interchange forms and substitute other con-

humorous. But for Picasso form

considered himself tents.

the canvas, this, with Picasso's use of a

fills

the sense of

In

new

the writer

1924 Breton published the

first

he proposed that the subconscious was a more reality than rational

He advoreason. He was

thought and sense.

cated dreams and the visions of madness as an alternative to

Sigmund Freud's psychoanalytic writings, and by the poetry of Arthur Rimbaud, Stephane Mallarme, Comte de Lautreamont and Apollinaire, from whose work the label of the new movement was indirectly derived. Surrealism's aim was to reveal the subconscious realm of dreams inspired by

by exploring avenues opened up by psychoanalysis. sal

It

life

it

with an unlimited

would undergo a revolutionwould be infinitely en-

ary transformation: feeling and expressive potential

hanced and extended.

The

Surrealists

reason. In

its

Oil on canvas, 128 x 98

to all artistic

place they put chance,

trivia,

PAGE

The

122:

Kiss, 1925

Le Baiser Oil on canvas, 130.5 x 97,7

cm

Musee Picasso

procedures based on conscious

and a revaluation of plain every-

movement, it quickly embraced the visual arts too, and a number of new techniques were developed. The most important of them were frottage, which (like brass rubbing) calls for the literary

cm

Estate of Jacqueline Picasso

Paris,

were opposed

day sensation. Originally a

Figure

disregarded the cau-

order of the perceptible world and set out to counter

use of the irrational. In this way, individual

Figure, 1927

PAGE

123:

Large Nude

in a Red Armchair, 1929 Grand nu aufauteuil rouge

Oil on canvas, 195 x 129 Paris,

cm

Musee Picasso 121


production of visual, textural effects by rubbing, and grattage, a kind of

The Swimmer.

reverse frottage, in which paint

La Nageuse

ing the layer underneath.

is

thickly applied and then scraped off reveal-

Nor should we

forget "Ecriture automatique", the

and equivalent procedures

painting and drawing whereby what mattered trol

and allow the subconscious

was

to

929

Oil on canvas, 130 x 162 Paris,

Surrealists' rediscovery of automatic writing

1

cm

Musee Picasso

in

suspend rational con-

to express itself directly via the text or

image produced. In

1925 Picasso exhibited

Pierre in Paris.

He

at the first joint Surrealist

1933 one of his collages was taken for the

Minotaure

(p.

1

show

in the

Galerie

did portraits of Surrealist writers for their books, and in title

page of the new magazine,

39;. Like the Surrealists, Picasso too explored the visual

potential of tactile qualities.

There are a number of

affinities in technical

methods, the use of montage, and the further development of collage and assemblage. Yet

still

the tensions that existed between Picasso and the Surrealists were

the product of deep-seated differences.

It is

no exaggeration

to say that their

respective aims and intentions were in fact diametrically opposed. For that

very reason there were superficial overlaps

in the

approach

The Blue Acrobat, 1929 L'Acrobate bleu

to artistic experi-

Charcoal and 162 x 130 Pans.

oil

on canvas,

cm

Musee Picasso 125


Bather with Beach Ball. 1932 Baigneuse cm bord de Oil on canvas, 146.2 x

Now

York. The

la 1

Museum

mer 14.6

of

cm

Modem

Art


ment and

Figures at the Seashore. 1931

pression.

Figures au bord de

the transformation of conventional techniques and modes of exThe assemblages Picasso did in spring 1926. which were published that summer in La Revolution surrealiste, point up the differences of creative method nicely. The assemblages consist of just a few, simple, everyday things. Scraps of linen

together to

make almost

Guitar

In

(p.

tulle, nails, string,

what looks

of a "picture".

mer

Paris.

cm

Musee Picasso

buttons and newspaper are put

abstract images.

119 top), for instance. Picasso has arranged a piece of sack-

of newspaper, two long nails and some string

cloth, a scrap

that

and

la

Oil on canvas. 130 x 195

like a

By

representational.

random

such a

way

collection of objects takes on the appearance

referring to the

The cut-out

in

title

we

circle in the

can perceive

this

work

as being

middle of the cloth echoes the

hole in a guitar's soundboard, and the two nails loosely suggest the strings.

The yellowed newspaper denotes the side and bottom of the instrument, and the string must presumably represent the (oddly angled) neck. The image

as such is

wholly non-naturalistic, and the form contrasts with

of an actual guitar. But lish the

concept of a

in its details there are

guitar.

Picasso

is

enough

that

similarities to estab-

continuing the line of Synthetic Cub-

ism here, seeing the picture as a system of signs, the arbitrary nature of

which leaves the imagination leeway for untrammelled invention. The possibility of recognition is anchored in concepts and definitions, and happens entirely

in the intellect.

Surrealism does exactly the opposite.

primarily operates with a conceptual system, but alike

depend on the

its

It

too

techniques and aims

irrational. 127


The Red Armchair. 1931

Femme

assise clans unfauteuil rouge

Oil and

enamel paint on plywood, 130.8 x 99

Chicago

128

(EL),

The Art

Institute

of Chicago

cm


Bust of a Woman with Self-portrait. 1929 Buste de femme el autoportrait Oil on canvas. 71 x 60.5

cm

Private collection

129


Reclining Nude. 1932

Femme nue Oil

couchee

on canvas, 24

Rome,

x

35

cm

Private collection

Reclining Nude. 1932

Femme

nue couchee

Oil oh canvas, 38 x

46

cm

Musee National d*Art Moderne. Centre Georges Pompidou Paris,

Woman with a Flower. Femme d lafleur

1932

Oil on canvas, lo2 \ 130

New

cm

York, Mr. and Mrs. Nathan

Collection

CummingS


The Crucifixion

(after Griinewald). 1932

La Crucifixion (d'apres Griinewald) Ink and India ink on paper. 34.5 x 51.5 Paris,

Musee Picasso

The Crucifixion, 1930 La Crucifixion Oil on plywood, Paris,

5

1

.5

Musee Picasso

x 66.5

cm

cm


Woman in a Red Armchair. 1932 Femme aufauteuil rouge Oil on canvas. 30.2 x 97 cm 1

Paris.

Musee

Picasso

133


/V-2"

Bullfight (Corrida), 1934

Course de taureaux (Corrida) Oil on canvas, 97 x

Private collection

1

30

Scarcely controlled creative acts

may produce random

results, or logical

and meticulous labour may produce images beyond rational

cm that

is

not the point. In the former case, form expresses the artist's subcon-

scious and appeals to the beholder's emotions. In the

subconscious to the

interpretation:

is

latter,

the beholder's

activated via feeling even though he has no rational access

work. In terms of form and the meaning of form, however, emotion

plays no part at conflict or

which we

all in

Picasso's work.

even shock, reflect not

made

his

appeals to the emotions to prompt

starting an intellectual process in the course of

on ourselves but on

wire sculptures of autumn 1928

Picasso

He

maquettes

in

(p.

1

art.

This was also the aim of his

18).

response to a commission. The Association

of Friends of Apollinaire planned to erect a memorial tenth anniversary of his death,

to the poet

on the

and approached Picasso, who aptly tackled

the project in the spirit of a phrase Apollinaire had written: "the statue

of nothing, of vacancy". Apollinaire was thinking of a so

it

monument

made

to a pool:

seemed doubly appropriate to Picasso to borrow this thought from his The evident relation to the human figure derives its meaning from

friend. this

consideration too: Picasso evolved his idea

tury's

outmoded notions of memorials

in

order to put the

aside, for good.

The

c l

)th

cen-

representational,


figural

echo alludes

to the tradition of

monuments, but

in a radical

form

that

was The committee turned it

departs conspicuously from the tradition. Unfortunately Picasso's idea

too daring and progressive for his contemporaries.

down. Not

till

much

at least in part. In

later did the artist

Death of the Toreador. 1933 Course de taureaux: la mort du torero

Bullfight:

Oil on panel, 3 .2 x 40.3 1

Paris.

cm

Musee Picasso

have the chance to realize his ideas,

1962 he himself had two large-scale versions of the four

maquettes made, one 115 centimetres high, the other 200, intended as

inter-

mediate stages towards a finished version on a monumental scale. In 1973. shortly before his death, one version over four metres high

Museum

of Modern Art,

New

was put up

in the

York.

was particularly interested in the applied art of book illustration. He employed a variety of etching processes (cold needle, line etching and aquatint) for this work, which covered the same At that point in the Twenties, Picasso

familiar repertoire of subjects: painter and model, bullfight, bathers, nudes, acrobats.

Arms

The works have titles such as Sculptor Resting with Model in his Model at a Window. Sculptors or painters with models

or Sculptor with

account for the greatest part of these works. Painters and sculptors, themselves

drawn

Picasso

is

naturalistically,

can make abstract figures from

real originals,

saying - or naturalistic images from abstract models. These sequen-

ces of graphics, deconstructed twofold, bring

home

the

work of the

artist.

135


Silenus Dancing in Silene en

Company, 1933

compagnie dansante

Gouache and

India ink on paper, 34 x 45

cm

Private collection

The Sculptor and His Statue. 1933 Le Sculpteur et sa statue Ink, India ink, watercolour

on paper, 39 x 49.5

and gouache

cm

Private collection

PAGE

137

TOP:

Study for the Curtain for "14 juillet" by

Roman

Etude pour "

Rolland. le

1

936

rideoM de scene du

14 juillet" de Ronuiin Rolland

Gouache and India ink. 44.5 Paris. Musee Picasso

\ 54.5

cm

PAGE 137 BOTTOM Minotaur and Dead Mare Outside a Cave, with Young Veiled Girl. 1936

Minotaure etjumenl morte devant une grotteface a une jeune fille

Gouache and

cut voile

India ink on paper.

Pans. Musee Picasso

50

\ 65.5

cm


Bull and Horse. 1936

Femme et

a la bougie, combat entre taureau

cheval

Ink. India ink

3

1

.5

x 40.5

Paris.

and pencil on canvas on panel.

cm

Musee Picasso

Minotauromachy 1935 La Minotauromachie .

Etching and Paris.

grattoir.

Musee Picasso

49.8 x 69.3

cm


Minotaur and Horse. Minotaure

et

1

935

cheval

Pencil on paper. 17.5 x 25.5 Paris.

cm

Musee Picasso

Design for the Cover of "Minotaure". 933 " Maquette pour la com erture de "Minotaure 1

Collage: Pencil on paper, corrugated

cardboard. sil\er

foil, silk

ribbon, wallpaper

o\erpainted with gold and gouache, doilies,

brow ned can\ as charcoal on

New

York.

lea\ es.

wooden

draw ing pins and

board. 48.5 x 41

cm

The Museum of Modern Art 139


Interior with a Girl

Drawing.

1

935

Deux Femmes Oil

on canvas, 130 x 195

New

York. The

Museum

cm of

Modern

Nelson A. Rockefeller Bequest

Art.

A large number of Picasso's etchings are responses to Rembrandt. Picasso was placing himself on a par with Rembrandt - a high ambition indeed, for Rembrandt is widely seen as the master of etching, and in Picasso's time was considered the greatest artist of all time. Picasso was asserting that he himself was Rembrandt's legitimate successor, that he himself was the most important 20th-century

artist.

In 1925, Picasso created a masterpiece of formal

Kiss

(p. 122),

a truly awful picture

ways of expression,

it

- but wonderful

metamorphosis. The

A manifesto of new

too!

presents the aggressive, violent and primitive aspects

of the act of love with a brutality scarcely ever attempted before.

demands on at

us.

We

have

the top, amidst the

locked

in a

devouring

to disentangle

kiss; a figure at left,

eye, soulfully intimate, the picture

we

see. gradually discovering

seeming chaos of loud colours and contrasts, mouths

an exploded backbone atop straddled

tom of

what we

is in

fact a

legs.

holding another

But what looks

in

an embrace:

like a

mouth or

vagina about to be "eaten", and

are provocatively confronted with an anus

work done

A picture

in the

as aggressive as

tion of an artistic

Woman Reading. Femme lisant

1935

Oil on canvas, 161.5 x 129.5

Picasso

1960s did Picasso again

The Kiss was of course not merely the

programme.

It

came

it

vividly. In other

until

articula-

out of personal experience. Picasso's

communicating nor enriching each other's presses

Not

treat sexuality thus.

marriage to Olga was not a happy one. They shared few

cm

at the bot-

- balancing

the composition in ribald parody of classical laws of composition. late

makes

It

interests, neither

lives. Art here mirrors reality, ex-

works of the period,

distress

and violent feeling


are apparent in the visible tension.

From 1930 on, we frequently find the Above all, he dealt with relations

Christian motif of the crucifixion (p. 132J>

between the sexes, but also in a

new

The various

in

numerous

states

of the Minotauromachy etching, and the India-ink and

gouache studies of 1936 the

variations on his artist-and-model subject

version of his bullfight pictures: the motif of the Minotaur.

(p. 137).

allude both to the ancient tradition and to

modern. The Minotaur invades the sculptor's studio. He

is

also seen

dragging the dead mare, a symbol of female sexuality, from his

plagued by demons, and

ways be

is

He

is

al-

owes something to saw art as essentially a

identified with the dual nature of the artist. This

Nietzsche's The Birth of Tragedy, in which Nietzsche duality, possessing

Apollonian and Dionysian features.

Of course we must remember

that the violence in

many of these works

also reflected contemporary politics. France and indeed radically unstable at the time, in the

lair.

vanquished by Theseus. But the creature can

and Fascism was on the

hands of a military dictatorship since 1923, and

that an elected

government replaced

increasingly committed to the

all

rise. it

of Europe was

Spain had been

was not

till

1931

Since 1930. the Surrealists had been

it.

Communist Party, but Picasso refused to be didoes not mean that he took no interest in pol-

rectly involved in politics. This itical

events or was ignorant of social conditions.

The key

picture in political terms

taur in the clutches of a

a

is

the composition

gryphon figure

(p.

showing the Mino-

137 top). Picasso's variation on

famous ancient model, the Hellenistic Pasquino group, showing the dead It was done as a study for the curtain for

Patroclus in the arms of Menelaus. Girl Before a Mirror.

Jeune

L I

)32

Oil on canvas. 162.3 x 130.2

New

York,

Romain Rolland's play 14 j nil let. performed

devant un miroir

Fillc

Simon Guggenheim

summer 1936

honour of the election victory of the French People's Front. Like the

cm

The Museum of Modern

Gift of Mrs.

in Paris in

Art.

fight, the

in

bull-

use of the Minotaur motif shows the subject's symbolic value in

Picasso's eyes, as an expression of social concern.


6 War, Art and Politics 1937-1953

an entire wall,

Guernica,

filling

of

148/149).

art (pp.

Picasso's political

It

is

surely the best-known 20th-century

relates to a specific historical event,

commitment. For

hallmarks of the work and

this reason, art

and

historical circumstances,

its

work

and expresses

politics, the creative

must be

treated as

inseparable.

By 1936

Picasso's lack of interest in current political events

at the latest,

was at an end. On 17 July 1936, civil war began with the rebellion of the army (under Franco) in Spanish Morocco, a rebellion which spread to Spain itself on 18 July. The Republican government found itself facing an alliance of Nationalists, Falangists and anti-Republicans, led by the forces of Franco, who, helped by Italy and Nazi Germany, transferred his troops from the North African colony to Spain. The war was to last till 28 March 1939 and cost one and a half million lives. The Falangist side was aided by Italian and German troops, particularly the notorious Condor Legion, a German air force unit. The Republican government was supported by the Soviet Union and by numerous volunteers from many countries; the official government policies of France

From

and Great

Britain,

however, dictated non-intervention.

Head of a Woman

was on the side of the legitimate Republican government, which appointed him director of the Prado in Madrid, Spain's most important art gallery, in July 1936. In January 1937 the government commissioned him to paint a mural for the Spanish pavilion at the Paris World Fair, due to open in July. At first Picasso intended to meet the commission with a representation of the freedom of art, using a studio scene with painter and model. But when the news of the bombing of the holy Basque town of Guernica reached him, he changed his mind. On 26 April 1937 the town was totally destroyed in just three and a half hours by Falangist forces, Spanish, Italian and German troops, under German command. The town was of no military importance; its destruction was an act of the outbreak of civil war, Picasso

pure terrorism. But atrocity

appeared

ports into a

it

world press. Guernica was transformed by those

symbol of modern

1937

Tete de

Femme

en pleurs

Pencil and gouache on paper. 29.2 x 23.1

Madrid.

Museo Nacional Centra de

cm

Arte

Reina Sofia

in his

mind, Picasso abandoned

mural and began sketch work on a

By mid-June

re-

total warfare.

With these new impressions of war vivid

new

idea on

1

work was being mounted on the wall and the building was officially opened on 12 July. The pavilion showcased Republican Spain in mortal jeopardy; and Picasso's painting fitted perfectly, though he made his statements exclusively in symbolic form. There was no specific depiction of warfare in the work, nor was there any emphasis on political events. 1937.

May

rapidly acquired political significance as reports of the

in the

his original idea for the

May

Crying, 24

Study for Guernica (32

of the Spanish pavilion

the finished

at the

World

Fair,

Mother with Dead Child on a Ladder. 10

May

1937

Study for Guernica (21

Mere

et enfant

mart

Pencil and crayon on paper, 45.7 x 24.4

cm

Madrid. Museo Nacional Centra de Arte

Reina Sofia 145


l^~>',

<I)

I

Study for "Guernica"

(1).

May

I

1937

Etude pour "Guernica" (I)

cm

Pencil on blue paper, 21 x 26.9

Study for "Guernica"

x 26.9

de Arte Reina Sofia

May

Horse,

1937 (4).

Pencil on paper, 21 x 26.9

Madrid,

Study

Cheval

cm

Madrid.

2

May

1937

Etude pour "Guernica" (10)

Madrid,

oil

on plywood, 60

\

73

cm

Study for "Guernica" (5).

ile

cm

1937

cm

Pencil and

Madrid.

oil

1

May

1937

(6)

cm

on plywood. 53.7 x 64.7

Museo Nacional Centra

de Arte Reina Sofia

May

\

45.3

cm

Museo Nacional Centra

Arte Reina Sofia

(6).

Etude pour "Guernica"

Cheval

Study for "Guernica" (15). 9

Madrid.

May

Madrid. Museo Nacional Centra

Museo Nacional Centra

Pencil on paper. 24

1

(3)

Pencil on blue paper. 21 x 26.8

1937

Guernica

(3).

de Arte Reina Sofia

Etude pour "Guernica" (15)

Museo Nacional Centra

de Arte Reina Sofia

cm

de Arte Reina Sofia

de Arte Reina Sofia

Pencil and

May

1

for

Study for "Guernica"

Etude pour "Guernica"

Pencil on blue paper, 21 x 26.8

Museo Nacional Centra

Study for "Guernica" (10).

1

1937

Museo Nacional Centra

de Arte Reina Sofia

I

May

Pencil on blue paper. 2

Madrid.

Study for Guernica

1

(2)

Madrid. Museo National Centra

Horse.

(2).

Etude pour "Guernica"

1937

Mother with Dead Child. 2$ Ma> 1937 Stud) for Guernica (37)

Mere avec enfant mort Pencil crayon, gouache and collage on 23.9

\

45.5

cm

Madrid. Museo Nacional Centra de Arte Reina Sofia

paper.


Guernica

(1st state).

Guernica ler <

1

1

May

Oil on canvas. 349.3 x 776.6

Guernica (3rd

May

state).

Guernica (Seme

(6th state).

Guernica (6eme

1937

Guernica

(

cm

May 1937

etat)

Oil on canvas. 349.3 x 776.6

Guernica

cm

etat)

Oil on canvas. 349.3 x 776.6

Guernica

1937

etat)

final state).

cm

4 June 1937

(etat definitif)

Oil on canvas. 349.3 x 776.6

cm 147

&_


In fact Guernica, the great

allegorical composition.

symbol of the

The painting

is

terror of war,

monumental

had prompted an

in effect but not

op-

pressive. The horizontal-format composition uses seven figures, or figure

groups;

and

it

is

clearly yet subtly divided up.

right sides, with a flat triangle

Two

presentations occupy the

left

between. In the middle, unnaturally

wounded horse, its neck wrenched to the left, its mouth w ide open in pain. To the right, from a square space, are a styli/ed human head in profile and an arm holding a lighted oil lamp over the scene. Above the posed, stands a

horse's head let

is

an ambivalent motif: a large eye of God. surrounded by a circ-

of irregular jags, with a lightbulb for a pupil - standing for sunlight as well

as electric light.

148

To

the right of the horse a

woman

is

hurrying, her pose


plainly conceived to is

completed,

rior statue

in

fit

the falling diagonal: this

compositional terms.

on the ground

broken sword

in

to the left

is

where the

A counterpart to

below

the horse,

its

central

group

this figure is a

war-

arms outstretched, a

one hand. The statue has been smashed

into

Guernica. 1937 Oil on canvas. 349.3 x 776.6

Madrid.

cm

Museo Nacional Centra de Arte

Reina Sofia

hollow pieces.

Picasso avoids the involuntary rigidity of precision composition. The sun

and lamp are

to the left, the equally striking white

the painting's central vertical axis. fied group.

A

mother

child in her arms. its

in

is

Above

the

house wall

smashed

to the right

of

statue stands a uni-

kneeling before a bull, screaming, holding her dead

A corresponding

head flung back, mouth open

figure at the right edge of the canvas has

to cry out,

and arms stretched heavenwards

a gesture of profound emotion. 149


Weeping Woman. 1937 /(nunc en pleurs Oil on canvas, I

W)

\

49

ondon, Tate Gallery

cm


Woman

Crying. 1937

La Suppliante Gouache and India ink on Paris.

panel. 24 x 18.5

cm

Musee Picasso

151


The use of dark and

and irregular jags suggests

light areas

as a falling, burning figure against a

house

in flames.

the composition has been systematically unsettled

The

we

that

see this

spatial situation of

by various

Grande Baigneuse au

1

937

livre

and charcoal on canvas.

Oil. pastel

lines leading

and by irregular perspectival foreshortening. The distribution

into the depths

Great Bather with Book.

130x97.5 cm Paris. Musee Picasso

of dark and light heightens this unsettling effect of destabilization, since no definite source of light can be

side nor out:

it is.

made

out.

The scene

is

happening neither

in-

so to speak, everywhere.

Picasso reconciled primal forms of expression, his

own

formal idiom, and

motifs and images that were readily understandable, familiar through a long tradition.

Therein

than agitprop fully

aware of

lies the attraction

The preliminary

art.

and greatness of Guernica.

studies,

by a Picasso

It is

who was

more

far

already

his significance in the history of art. enable us to follow the

evolution of the

work

exactly. Forty-five dated studies

photographs showing the different

states

and a number of

of the work in progress (pp. 144â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

147) provide unparalleled documentation.

The labours they bear witness

were carried out with the utmost concentration. From

its

inception on

1

to

May

completion on 4 June, Picasso took just five weeks. For a work on so

to its

monumental

a scale,

staggeringly

fast.

and of such formal and thematic complexity,

But the explanation

lies in

working, manoeuvring motifs from his

European

art

own

this is

Picasso's characteristic repertoire and

way of

from the stock of

through the ages.

composition: Peter Paul Rubens' great allegorical painting The Horrors of War (in Florence. 1638). Raphael's Vatican fresco of the Borgo fire, the traditional pieta image of the Virgin holding the dead Christ, light as a symbol of Enlightenment, and the Minotaur and bullfight complex which Picasso had been using since the mid- 1930s, not least to convey political statements. The work Picasso did on the studies and on the final canvas of Guernica shows Familiar sources in the European

art tradition

have influenced

this

how he altered what were at first unambiguously political symbols in order to endow them with universal validity. The work as completed on 4 June was a composition uniquely unified in modern art, and of unparalleled conviction. Its impact derives not only from the subtle complexity of the composition

and content but also from the

stylized, schematic

figures are presented, at once timelessly ancient

Any cal

direct evocation of an identifiable

manner

contemporary

The

bull

and horse, through

stand for Spain: the horse

which the

even a

reality or

grouping has been carefully avoided. The symbolic idiom

generalized.

in

and universally accessible.

is

politi-

deliberately

their association with bullfighting,

the people suffering, the bull the people trium-

is

phant, but both are victims of aggression and destructive violence. All the figures in

Guernica are victims. The meaning of the painting, deliberately

stated in general terms

borrowed from Rubens' great painting,

resentation of the destruction of

human

The form of the work matches fectly.

There

is

its

civilization

The

by war.

PAGE

fundamental simplicity of statement per-

neither caricature nor propaganda in

rigorously done.

lies in its rep-

it.

Picasso's allegory

is

blacks, greys and whites echo the old use of grisaille in

work is specific to the medium of paint: it is a draughtsman's creation. The simultaneity of perspective and figures, the juxtaposition of linear and volumed representation, and varying frontal and altarpieces.

Nothing

in the

profiled angles of vision, are

veloped ture, so

in earlier

all stylistic

devices Picasso had already de-

work. Nevertheless, the simple primaeval power of the pic-

seemingly archaic

mark a new departure.

in

tone yet so sophisticated in composition, did

154:

Seated

Woman

Femme

assise dans unjardin

in

a Garden. 1938

Oil on canvas, 131 x 97

New

cm

York. Mr. and Mrs. Daniel Saidenberg

Collection

PAGE

155:

Seated Woman. 1938

Femme

assise

Gouache, crayon and ink on paper, 76.5 x 55

cm

Basel. Beyeler Collection

153


Xude Dressing Her

Femme

Hair.

Oil on canvas. 130 \ 97

New

156

1

940

se coiffant

cm

York. Mrs. Bertram Smith Collection


Once

again, Picasso's stylistic quest had been catalysed

source material. In this case, the key detail study for

(p.

146, No. 4).

May, the first compositional drafts). The

the fourth sketch of

Guernica (preceded by three

study shows a horse horse,

is

It is

drawn

as a child

physical proportions purely symbolic,

its

equally visible. In the third sheet

(p.

by examination of

all

Night Fishing at Antibes, 1939

Peche de

unit a Antibes

1

would draw

Oil on canvas. 205.7 x 345.4

New

York, The

PAGE

158:

Museum

cm

of Modern Art,

a

four legs and both eyes

146, No. 3) there are seemingly

infantile

uses of line as well. These, however, are a response to surrealist figural

work. Both strands - children's drawings and Surrealism - were interwoven

and important influences. In Guernica Picasso combined his linear

style,

widely termed classical, with surreal recordings of the subconscious; and the foundation on which the combination was established was the basic idiom of children's drawings. Children's principles determined his contouring, the use of detail motifs, and the perspective.

For Picasso, the idiom of children's drawings was evidently a completely

new

discovery. His early professional training had given

tunity to

draw

in a childlike

way

him no oppor-

own

himself, nor had his

children

him an awareness of the child's way of seeing the world. This the more remarkable when one considers that Picasso had actually portrayed his little son Paul drawing and painting (p. ). It was not till the

prompted

in

is all

1

1

1

Thirties that Picasso, under the influence of Surrealism, occasionally ad-

mitted the child's p. 132).

manner

to his

work, as he did

Taking a detour through another style

the expressive

power of

children's

art.

The

in

The Crucifixion (1930;

in art,

Picasso

came

Surrealists, looking for

covery

in turn

helped Picasso.

And

Oil

1938

on canvas, 61 x 46

cm

Luzern, Private collection

to value

modes of

expression that were untainted by existing mental and cultural pressures,

had discovered children's creative powers for themselves.

Maya with a Boat, Maya an bateau

that dis-

PAGE

159:

Portrait of Maya with Portrait de

Maya avec

Her Doll 1938 sa poupee

Oil on canvas, 73.5 x 60 Paris.

cm

Musee Picasso 157


The

Sailor, 1938

Le Marin Oil on canvas, 58.5 x 48

cm

Private collection

Thus Guernica, artistic

for Picasso,

became

a great synthesis of the very various

approaches he had been taking since his period of so-called classi-

cism. In Guernica he had arrived

at the

formal idiom with which

we

auto-

matically associate his name. Since the great experiment of Les Demoiselles d'Avignon, the subsequent further development of Cubism, and the years of so-called classicism,

coexisted Figuration ciation in

is

two mutually contradictory principles of depiction had art. They may be labelled dissociation and figuration.

Picasso's

in is

mimetic, representational

autonomous

art.

art,

handed down by

tradition; disso-

non-representationally departing from

the given world. In Picasso's

work they

alternate

its

subjects

and exert a mutual

in-

fluence.

Within the overall system of depiction, figuration and dissociation repreit

The former reproduces the subjective viewpoint, shows beholder sees it. The laws of perspective apply: a subject

polar opposites.

the subject as the

irom the left to

front

cannot reveal

its rear.

the imagination, figuration relying

That aspect of

upon

its

appearance

is

the associative cooperation

The Yellow Sweater (Dora Maar). 1939 Le Chandail jaune {Dora Oil on

of the beholder. Dissociation, by contrast, includes the whole subject, shows veil as the frontal

view

if

it

so wishes. In this respect

it

is

more

cam as.

SI \

65

Mann

cm

London. National Gallon, on loan the

Hem/ Berggnien

Collection

o\


Women

at

Their

Toilette.

(Cartoon for a tapestr)

Femmes

l I

)38

>

a leur toilette

Pasted wallpapei and gouache

on papei Pai

is

>

cm

Musee Picasso


War. 1952

Oil on hardboard. 4.5 x 10.5

Val lauds.

Temple de

But the gain

objective.

La Guerre

m

loss: the various

area, la

Paix

in

terms of dissociative images

is

elements can no longer be accommodated within a defined

and the principle of a containing outline has

principle belongs to figurative

ensures that every subject

is

art:

it

distinct

to

be abandoned. That

includes everything in unified outlines,

from every

other.

The

depictive art seeking a synthesis of the two approaches

introduce the gains of dissociative versa. Picasso's

countered by a

new

art into the

basic task for any

obvious.

is

It

has to

realm of figuration, and vice

style did just that, using contoured, linear, figurative

outlines without feeling compelled to represent the exact specifics of the

given subject; and his options had been extended to include the figurative

symbolism

The

characteristic of children's

portrait of his

how

clearly reveals girl is sitting

on the

art.

daughter Maya, done on 16 January 1938

capriciously Picasso handled this floor, a doll in

new

(p. 159).

system. The

little

her arm. Her legs and skirt are rendered

as geometrical blocks, unnaturally crossed; the legacy of Cubist dissociation is

tal

unmistakable. Her face shows the familiar combination of profile and fronangles, the

two angles not additively juxtaposed

simultaneously present, as

in a

The Temple of Peace Photograph. 1952

at

Vallauris

ending

in

arm was painted

Cubist manner but

superimposed photograph. Picasso more or

less retains the natural proportions. girl's right

in

There

as a child

is

just

one striking exception: the

might have painted

it.

a short

stump

sketchy shapes that stand for five spread fingers.

Cubist dissociation, figuration and childlike symbolism are the three foundations on which the formal idiom of the "Picasso style"

made

was

built.

They

possible a vast potential of variation. Every one of these formal sys-

tems consists of a number of characteristic features which only define a sys-

tem once they appear together. But these features can be used separately, or

combined with others. This fact is illustrated by a study of a Seated Woman done on 27 April 1938 in India ink. gouache and crayon (p. 155). It is a study in both the autonomy and the functionality of the line. The woman's head is done in the familiar combination of frontal and profile; and. in the process, the line as an instrument for conveying form has taken on an inde-

pendent

-

life

of

its

own. Admittedly an

identifiable

image of

a

bod) has been


produced, and thus a certain representational value; but the picture

is

a fab-

of webs and meshes. This use of lines totally alters the character of the

ric

image. The line

is

no longer subordinated

Peace. 1952

La

Pai.x

Oil on hardboard. 4.5 x 10.5

to representation of the sitter;

Vallauris,

rather, the seated figure is

an excuse to play with

most of the forms are angular.

la

cm

Paix

Naturally enough,

December 1938 Seated Woman

in

a

154) Picasso went on to combine autonomy of block with auton-

Garden

(p.

omy

line.

of

In the

lines.

Temple de

Since Guernica, Picasso had essentially been ringing the same

changes on the fundamentals of visual presentation as he had been doing

in

the Cubist phase.

What

did make a considerable difference was the fact that his free variwas now always contained within a defined outline, a figural shape. An important work that used the new method of depiction grew out of the work on Guernica. After he had completed that enormous canvas, Picasso ation

did a

number of

woman weeping

studies

on the time-honoured subject of

into a handkerchief.

Using

combined

his

figurative method, he dissected the faces into lines

various colour bases applied in different ways.

grief,

showing a

dissociative and

and experimented with

When

he had tried out combi-

nations to his satisfaction, he produced an oil of moderate size which he

completed on 26 October 1937 frontal

and profile view of the

(p. 150).

face.

Again the composition combines a

Furthermore, the face has also been

splintered into shards contoured with thick lines, in

and these shards, painted

shades of varying degrees of aggressiveness, serve to heighten an overall

impression of shattered nervousness. The handkerchief, hand and face inter-

connect (and

in this respect

extend the method used

in

Les Demoiselles d'A-

vignon): the treatment defies the natural definition of the individual motifs.

This the

is

the

most fractured portion of the

background, are juxtaposed

tion.

The composition

perfectly

picture,

and the

in relative tranquillity

conveys the

rest

and

act of crying;

of the head, and

clarity of definiit

catches the ex-

pression of profound emotional crisis exactly.

Picasso can well afford to dispense with conventional attention to detail.

Only the one or two rounded shapes suggest tears; the anecdotal flavour of big round sobbed tears has been carefully avoided. Here, it is the shattered 165


The Chamel House. 1944-1945

form

Le Charnier

Picasso's forms to the emotional content, he succeeds in presenting things

Oil and charcoal on canvas.

cm The Museum

199.8x250.1

New

York,

of Modern Art

conveys the shattered

that

which are fundamentally open But the Picasso style

feelings.

relation of

analogy - the aim of figurative painting.

to

actually far richer in technical scope, and in a posi-

is

tion to reformulate the traditional

any means dropping

Given the associative

historical

aims of visual presentation - without b\

work, genre scenes or other conventional

types of painting.

Picasso was able to deploy his formal means to achieve very different sults.

His work from 1937 to 1943 saw him continually testing those

ferences.

One of the most

Dressing Her Hair

Royan.

painted in

May

and June 1940

in his

dif-

Nude

studio

at

bottom quarter of the canvas Picasso has placed a violet trapetwo dark green vertical trapezoids at the sides, a thin, almost

In the

zoid, with

black triangle

at

the top. and a large, not quite regular rectangular area o(

olive green between the

room: the ject, a

important pictures of the period was the

(p. 156),

re-

illusion

seated

is

woman

two dark green

reaching behind her head to pull her hair back. She

occupies almost the entire canvas, so quality but also

sides. This suggests a space or

almost of a view through a peephole, framing the sub-

makes

the space

that she not

seem cramped.

only has a monumental


Study for

"Man

Etude pour India ink Paris.

Man

with Sheep". 1942

"L'Homme au mouton "

wash drawing on paper. 68 x 44.5 cm

Musee Picasso

with Sheep. 1943

L'Homme au mouton Bronze. 222.5 x 78 x 78 Paris.

Musee Picasso

cm

'>"

167


Head of a

Bull. 1942

Tete de taureau

Bicycle saddle and handlebars. 33.5 x 43.5 x 19

cm

Musee Picasso

Paris.

Death's Head. 1943 Tete

de mort

Bronze, 25 x 21 x 31 Paris.

Still

cm

Musee Picasso

Life with Steer's Skull. 1942

Nature morte avec crane de band Oil on canvas, 130 \ 97 Diisseldorf,

Westfalen

m

cm

Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-


The Bull. 1946 Le Taureau Lithograph. 28.9 x 41

The /.<

Hull. 1945

Taureau

Lithograph. 28.9 \ 41

170

cm

cm


The use of this

tight

compositional grid introduced a note of disquiet: the

elbow room, but space

figure's attitude calls for ing, in a direct this disquiet.

low nature,

is

precisely

what

this paint-

appeal to our emotions, denies her. Picasso has emphasized

The

The

figure's bodily proportions are unnatural.

feet

still

La Joie de

vivre (Pastorale).

Oil on hardboard. 120 x

Antibes.

1946

250 cm

Musee Picasso

fol-

knees and calves

albeit in crudely simplified form; but thighs,

are harshly juxtaposed, angular areas of light beige and dark brown. The

figure tive,

is

rendered with extreme foreshortening, a capricious use of perspec-

and a playful rethinking of the elements of visual presentation. Whole

parts of the

body (such

as the left thigh) are simply left out.

The face

longer an overlapping yoking of frontal and profile views; rather, the houette and full-face are crudely juxtaposed

curious duality in the

way

at different heights.

the figure has been done.

It

is

no

sil-

There

is

a

might be described as

mechanization of the organic, and stylizing of the mechanical, both principles so interwoven that picture.

it is

Though Picasso was

difficult to

make

out what

is

happening

plainly performing a variation

on

in the

stylistic ap-

Nude Dressing Her Hair was not spontaneously done. In fact a large number of sketches and studies preceded it. In all. Picasso worked on Nude Dressing Her Hair for a full six months. Picasso's serial work had an unmistakable, strongly self-referential component. His fruitful interest in the work of contemporaries had waned. This, proaches he had already tested.

however, was

less the fault

of the

artist

than of the age:

it

was, after

all,

a

time of pre-war crises, the Second World War, and the occupation of France

by the Germans. The

political situation forced Picasso into isolation. First,

he was cut off from his homeland by the Spanish Civil

of Franco's Falangists.

And

Paris art scene

changed

practitioner of

Modernism.

in a

then, after the

way

German

A group

was now dominant

that

invasion of France, the

had previously been marginalized, a

in the arts.

it

in the official

Fascist countries, so too in France, political

triumph of reactionaries

the victory

that peculiarly affected Picasso, the great

group whose anti-modem position had rendered ution of the arts,

War and

Not

unimportant for the evolscene

in

France.

As

change had brought with

that the

it

in

the

Modernists did not defend 171


their position vigorously. Indeed,

two

fronts

were defined.

were the reactionary, nationalist advocates of

who

collaborated with the Nazis.

On

On

traditional art,

the other

the one side

and those

were young French

Pitcher,

artists

Candle and Enamel Saucepan. 1945

Picket, bougeoir et casserole emaillee

Oil on canvas, 82 x 106

artists,

cm

Musee National d*Art Modeme. Centre Georges Pompidou Paris,

such as Charles Lapicque and Jean Bazaine,

who

of Modernist painting. Like other radical Modernists, such as

Nicolas de Stael and Jean Dubuffet, their endeavours

sier,

show Alfred Manes-

exhibited in a 1941

all

tended to the

continuation of pure abstraction.

For Picasso there was no room - as a contemporary than a mere cult figure of the Modernist movement. lated during the war. True, his studio

they

was open

to

artist, that is,

rather

Thus he was doubly

German

visitors; but

iso-

when

came he would give them postcard reproductions of Guernica, and on

one famous occasion, when a German officer asked Picasso. "Did you do that?" the artist replied, "No,

you did." Moreover, when he ran out of

fuel.

he declined to accept special favours as a non-French national, and ob-

"A Spaniard is never cold." Though his personal situation was

served:

a melancholy one. Picasso's

abroad was then growing apace. In America recognised as the foremost modern the

newh rounded Museum

artist in

of Modern Art

in particular.

Picasso

fame

came

to

be

those years. In the year 1937. in

New

York bought Les Demoi-

Seated

Woman

Femme

assise dans unfauteuil

Oil

in

an Armchair. 194S

on camas. 100.5

Private collection

\ 81

cm


Head in

Profile. 1950

Plate:

Goat's

White

clay, relief painted with oxidized

paraffin, glazed

Diameter: 25.5

selles

d 'Avignon, and

mounted

the

in

1940, together with the Art Institute of Chicago,

major retrospective "Picasso. 40 Years of his Art", which was

seen in no fewer than ten major American

cm

cities. In the

eyes of the Ameri-

cans, the tour established Picasso as the most important living artist of the

Private collection

century.

Head in

Plate:

Goat's

White

clay, relief painted with

Profile.

1950 oxidized

paraffin, glazed

Diameter: 25.5

cm

Private collection

The Allied landings and the reconquest of France, followed by the end of Second World War, marked a turning point in Picasso's life. Suddenly he became what he had not been (to the same extent) before: a public figure. Ever since he had been recognised as the founder of modern art. his fame had spread, albeit within the cultural sector only. He was international!) known, though purely as an artist. With the entry of the Allies into Paris, two factors enhanced his status: the growth of his overseas reputation, and the post-war reinstatement of Modernism at the heart of the arts and political life. Picasso, more than any other, was the artist whose studio soldiers, galthe

lery

owners and reporters wanted

and Robert Capa documented

his life

and these photos, widely seen

in the

popularity.

As

Red

clay,

ÂŤ

can

iih

moulded on ing

Height: 70

the wheel, decoration

and engobe

cm

Private collection

174

and Dancers. 1950

Photographers such as Lee Miller

and work in entire series of pictures: mass media, earned Picasso enormous

condemned by the Fascists, them. Picasso became a cult

the leading practitioner of an art

man who had

and as

a

figure.

Anything he said was eagerly noted, printed and parroted.

not yielded an inch to

He was of great importance Vase: Flute Players

to visit.

erated France. Just six

- the "Salon de the

first

la

weeks

for the

new

political

and

arts

scene

in lib-

autumn salon doors, on 6 October 944 It was

after the Allies entered Paris, the

Liberation" - opened

its

1

.

programmatic expression of Picasso's central importance: he had no

fewer than 74 paintings and five sculptures

in the

exhibition.


It

was

Salon he had ever shown

in fact the first

stituted the

at; his

Baboon and Young. 95 Le Guenon et son petit

participation con-

1

recognition by his French fellows. His political

first official

stance and his standing as an artist went hand in hand

Ceramic ware, two toy

- and provoked im-

and

mediate reactions, too. Artistic and political reactionaries, the stragglers of Petain's regime, attempted to tear

down

his pictures

plaster,

56 x 34

x 7

1

cars, metal 1

cm

Musee Picasso

Paris,

from the walls, and

prompted a scandal. The French society of authors took Picasso's side. The day before the Salon opened, there was news that only served to exacerbate tempers: Picasso had joined the It

was

a logical

weapon

lowed

consequence of recent

in a political struggle.

in rapid

Not

the times.

that those

works were an

stance, in 1945 Picasso painted a

is

history, the expression of his

much something to prettify the home as And indeed, many of the works that fol-

succession attest to Picasso's involvement

vations and fears of these

Party of France.

he believed, was not so

ideals: art,

a

Communist

Pitcher,

It

number of

still lifes

in-

that glance at the pri-

during the occupation. Surely the most important of (p. 172).

draws upon crucial formal insights

in his great

concerns of

of direct statement. For

art

Candle and Enamel Saucepan

three objects only.

developed

life

in the

The

picture

shows had modes

that Picasso

Guernica. Here too, tried and tested

stylistic

serve to question and undermine what appears unambiguous, but

at the

same time to render it universally valid. A number of perspective viewpoints - front, side and rear -jointly establish unified, clear outlines that do not correspond with the picture's spatial values. On a brown tabletop we see a pitcher, a burning candle and an enamel saucepan, lined up at only slightly different degrees of visual depth. The bright yellow of the brass candlestick is the strongest colour, strikingly contrasted by the acid blue of Shades of grey, green and brown, and large patches of white,

the saucepan.

lend stability to this restless colourfulness, so that the overall impression of the canvas

is

one of subdued colour. The power of the pure colours seems

muted, despite the decidedly aggressive use of the yellow and blue. Thus the expressive values of the colours

waver between the bright and

dued. They are unstable. Similarly with the

light: the

candle's big flame and

black shadow convey an appearance of brightness, yet the three objects are

on the sides away from the

light. It is

real illuminative

power;

The

it is

symbolic

light.

the sub-

sides of the

lit

not light with any

painting's

symbolism

simple, using everyday household objects to suggest the difficulty of

is

life

under the occupation.

Symbolic form, a compacted lation of the cial visual

artistic

treatment of given

reality,

and

trans-

everyday wretchedness of war into an urgent though not superfi-

idiom, are

all to

be found

in a

major Picasso done

of the war: his great composition The Charnel

House

at

(p. 166). It

spired by a Spanish film about a family killed in their kitchen.

was working on

May

the very end

was

When

in-

Picasso

was influenced by the first photographs of liberated German concentration camps - though this dimension only entered the work at a late stage, as the composition was the painting

from February

to

1945, he

already fixed in formal terms before any of the photographs were published.

PAGE

178:

Girl Skipping. 1950 Petite Fille a la corde Plaster,

ceramic ware, wicker basket, baking

Paris,

wood and Musee Picasso

PAGE

79:

tins,

shoes,

iron,

152 x 65 x 66

cm

This only lends additional weight to the painting's statement, though, taking as

it

does

The

political terror as its subject.

picture

tied to a post,

Picasso's

shows is

a

heap of corpses

after an execution.

the painting that the

figure,

still

was only during the course of location became more precisely de-

collapsing onto the others.

work on

One

It

Greyish blue, white and black areas denote walls, floor and posts, a

of architectonic props that suggest both exterior and

interior, as in

set

Guernica.

Goat. 1950

Chevre Plaster (Wicker basket, ceramic ware, leaf,

fined.

1

Nanny

metal,

wood, cardboard and

120.5 x 72 x 144 Paris,

palm

plaster),

cm

Musee Picasso 177


*»"»


^_


The

still life

of kitchen utensils

the film original; terror. It

can

hit

top

at

left

of Guernica

is

not only a glance at

also underlines the everyday banality and ubiquity of

it

anyone, anywhere, any time. Even more than

Guernica

in

monochrome scheme, the linearity and the use of areas of unbroken colour serve to make a universal of the statement. First Picasso sketched the

the simple outlines of his stylized figures, heaping

them so

in

that the lines are

interwoven, creating a tangled network that defies distinction of separate forms. Later he filled in

brium of figural and different.)

some of the segments,

spatial motifs.

so establishing an equili-

(Only the line-drawing

The heap of bodies can be seen

remains

as replicating the destruction of in-

Human

dividual identity in the world of totalitarian terror.

even preserve

still life

even

their individual physical identities;

beings cannot

their bodies are taken

from them. But

looked somewhat different when he painted

six years later things

in Korea (p. 186/187). The Korean War had begun six months earThe painting was Picasso's protest at the American invasion. Shown at the May Salon in Paris, it took sides in a war of ideologies. And its formal idiom was an unambiguous, partisan one, using handed-down simple sym-

Massacre lier.

bols and only sparingly heightening the figural naturalism with cautious HI

Greco

Portrait of Jorge c.

Manuel Theotocopulos.

1600-1605

Oil on canvas. 81 x Seville.

Museo de

We

touches of the dissociative.

see the

good and

evil sides in straightforward

confrontation on an extremely broad format. Four naked 56

cm

fear,

Bellas Artes

and

their four similarly

fencelessness), are being

naked children

aimed

lizing far superior power).

The

at

by

(the

women,

rigid with

nakedness symbolizing de-

six soldiers

soldiers' postures

armed to the teeth (symboseem at once mechanical

and archaic; they are ancient warriors transmuted

into death-bringing robots.

A green,

sweeping, simplified landscape featuring only a single ruined

house

the backdrop to the composition.

is

For his work on

it,

Picasso drew upon a number of cognate works,

in par-

Edouard Manet's famous painting The Execution of Emperor Maximilian in Mexico 868), Francisco de Goya's 3rd May 1808 (1814), and David's Rape of the Sabine Women (1799) and The Oath of Jacques-Louis ticular

( 1

the Horatii (1784). This blatant use of other paintings

dimensionality of the painting's form and content.

It is

is in line

with the one-

very different from

other pictures of similar subject. Plainly a naturalistic, representational image

counts for Picasso

is

is in

the foreground.

What

the message. Consistently, he has presented the action

as a picture within a picture.

Mimetic representation was

It is

far

worth examining

more

in line

this defamiliarization.

with public expectation than the

formal idiom of Modernism, and could therefore count on a more approving

we seethe predicament of political, ideological art. Since the early days of Stalin, international Communism had been advocating realism as the only acceptable mode of artistic work. The French Communist response. In this

Party toed this line too.

It

was an urgent dilemma for Picasso, which gave him an accolade

clear at the 1945 Party congress, tist

but nonetheless called for realism in

as

became

as

man and

ar-

art.

Communist ideology saw art as a weapon in a political struggle that embraced every area of human activity. It is true that Picasso saw matters in exactly the same light, and considered himself a Communist artist painting Communist art; but he preserved a distance from art whose form was dicPortrait

of a Painter

(after El Greco),

1950

Portrait d'un peintre (d'apres El Greco) Oil

on plywood, 100.5

\

SI

cm

Rosengart Collection ISO

tated

by the Party, and always insisted on

Massacre

in

Korea was

points of view.

his

own independence

as an artist.

a special case, an attempt to reconcile opposite


Gustave Courbet

Young

Women on

the

Hanks of the Seine. 1857

Les Demoiselles des bonis de Oil on Paris.

cam as.

173.5 \ 206

Muscc du

Pclil Palais

la

cm

Seine


Young Women on the Banks of the Seine (after Courbet).

1950

Les Demoiselles des bonis de

la

Seine

(d'apres Courbet) Oil on plywood. 100.5 x 201

Basel. Offentliche

cm

Kunstsammlung

Basel.

Kunstmuseum

183


Mediterranean landscape. 1952

Paysage mediterraneen Ripolin on shipboard. 81 x 125 Private collection

sons.

cm

Communist Party was using Picasso for propagandist reaHis commitment to the Communist cause was necessarily no more

Essentially, the

than an episode in the immediate post-war years.

Still,

Picasso persisted in

expressing his general humanitarian and political concerns ing the period

when he was questioning

painting two huge murals

(p.

164

consecrated 14th-century chapel

f.)

in

which

work. Durarts,

he was

on the subject of war and peace for a de-

at Vallauris.

cember, though they were not installed kind of frieze

in his

Party sovereignty in the

till

They were completed

1954.

a horse-drawn chariot

is

War

is

that

De-

symbolized by a

taking the field.

By contrast, The frieze

the other mural (Peace) affords a prospect of unsullied happiness.

shows mothers and playing

children, around the central figure of Pegasus,

pulling a plough at the bidding of one child and so personifying the fertile

world of peace.

commitment was only one aspect of Picasso's creative efforts at The distinctive dichotomy in his activities was not least a result of

Political that time.

particular artistic interests. This

1943 and 1953.

is

clearest in the sculptures he did

between

One of his most famous and characteristic, done in 1943 durwhen Picasso felt utterly isolated.

ing the darkest period of the occupation,

was the Head of a Bull (p. 168). The skeletal head and horns of a bull are conveyed by two found objects which in themselves arc meaningless, a bicycle saddle and handlebars. Picasso subsequently had this assemblage cast in

bronze, thus reassessing the original materials, eliminating the contrasts

and opening out the ambivalence had done

in

o\'

The Glass ofAbsinthe

form.

(p.

91

).

was a continuation o\' what he that famous product of synthetic It


Cubism. The absolute economy of the Head of a Bull was breathtaking, and remains stunning to this day. And from then on Picasso retained the basicprinciple of

metamorphosis of formal meaning and interpretation

in all his

sculptural work.

Baboon and Young (p. 176). done in October 1951, achieved a comparable popularity. It was immediately cast in bronze in a limited edition of six. Picasso was inspired by two toy cars which the art dealer Kahnweiler gave to his son Claude, and used them for the head of the ape, bottom to bottom so that the gap between the two becomes the slit of the baboon's mouth, the radiator the whiskers, the roof the receding forehead, and the two front windows the eyes - to which Picasso added two plaster balls as pupils. Picasso then used coffee cup handles as ears and an

immense jug

for the body.

The

arms and the remainder of the baboon's body, and her young, were modelled in plaster. Finally, the

outstretched

tail

was another found

item: a car suspen-

sion spring curled at one end. Picasso proceeded similarly with his 1950

Nanny Goat ished

till

(p.

1954:

179) and Girl Skipping (moulded the same year but not finp. 178).

Smoke Clouds at Vallauris. Fumee a Vallauris Oil on canvas. 59.5 x 73.5 Paris,

1951

cm

Musee Picasso

IS5


Massacre

in

Korea. 1951

Massacre en Coree Oil on plywood, 109.5 x 209.5 Paris,

cm

Musee Picasso

187


Goat Skull, Bottle and Candle. 1952 Crane de chevre, bouteille et bougie Oil on canvas, 89 x 116 Paris.

Musee Picasso

There are few better places than his sculptural work vigour of Picasso's

art.

Every

cm Girl Skipping, for instance, the rope: her

awkwardness

detail

we is

is

to see the intellectual

sophisticated in conception. In the

see a small child

expressed

still

unsure of

in the instability

but especially by the outsize shoes - and by the fact that she

on the wrong

As

they

how

to use

of the sculpture, is

wearing them

feet.

came

into existence, these

works defined new areas of meaning,

playing with visual form, three-dimensionality and surface structure. Qualities of plasticity, though not unimportant, were distinctly of secondary significance.

with Sheep

The

best illustration of this

(p. 167),

done

in early 1943.

is

semblages, the figure was wholly modelled ventional style, and then

moulded

the large-scale sculpture

Man

Unlike the objets trouves and the in

clay on an iron frame, in con-

in plaster for

number of detail and compositional

as-

subsequent bronze casting.

A

document Picasso's protracted irresolution whether to use the idea as a painting or a sculpture. Even the finished group still reveals this indeterminacy. Man with Sheep is strictl) speaking a failure. But we must bear Picasso's attitude to sculpture in mind. Compared with the intellectual act of evolving the concept, the work of producing the final object was a negligible business. What counted was the artlarge

studies


ist's

mind and

technique his

will. art

He saw

the artist's

command

of the various aspects of

Goat

Skull, Bottle

Crane de chevre,

involved as absolute.

The Vallauris years from 1947/48 to 1954 marked Picasso's most intensive work with ceramics. He acquired both the potter's and the ceramic painter's skills. His ceramic work includes painted plates and vases, but also sculptures made by joining preformed pieces, as well as moulded objects. Clay as a material met Picasso's aims, which centred upon types of formal metamorphosis, very well. It was capable of being moulded into infinitely various forms, remained pliable throughout the process, and was thus at the constant disposal of the artist's ideas. Thus, for example, a compact vase became a kneeling woman, and the body, stem and spout of one vessel became a bird. The decorative images were complemented with careful use of

and Candle. 1952

bouteille ei bougie

Oil on canvas. X9 x 116

cm

London. Tate Gallery

relief- added strips of clay and indentations. Picasso used paint to reinforce

and decoratively highlight the form and function of the ware, but also deployed

its

illusionist effects to redefine forms:

arios suggestive of spatial depth, or

jugs became stagey scen-

were transformed

into

human

or animal

shapes.

Picasso's playful mastery of

new

techniques can also be seen

vived commitment to printed graphics, and

in his re-

in particular lithography.

Origin189


ally lithography

cuts,

had been purely a reproductive

copper engravings or etchings,

copy of an original drawing. The fect or

change colours and

it

art

because, unlike wood-

can produce an absolutely faithful

specific technique does not necessarily af-

lines. It

was

used the plates and paper, crayons and

this that oils

appealed to Picasso.

He

unconventionally, and regularly

turned lithographic orthodoxy topsy-turvy, making seemingly difficult or senseless is,

demands on

Tuttin the printer.

Broad though

their thematic

Picasso's lithographs ultimately have but one true subject: the

own

range

artist's

virtuosity.

Thus

his art of those years, like his life, was Janus-faced. Freedom and commitment, expansionism and withdrawal, went hand in hand. Picasso

tended increasingly to retreat from Paris, where he had lived and worked for half a century, and spend his personal and creative time on the Cote d' Azur.

His new-found political and

artistic

freedom was accompanied by a new

young painter, Francoise Gilot; in 1947 and 1949 their Paloma were born. His exploration of new artistic media and techniques was a counterbalance to his political involvement. If he was to be avowedly committed, adopting political positions with all the limited vision that that could often imply, then Picasso would also be abso-

partnership, with a

children Claude and

Seated

Woman. 1953

Femme nue

accroupie

Oil on canvas, 130.2 x 95.9

Saint Louis

Museum.

Portrait

lute in his art, a creative

cm

human being who recognised no

constraints.

(MO). The Saint Louis Art

Gift of Joseph Pullitzer.

Jr.

of Madame H.P. (Helene Parmelin),

'

/

\anu

II. I'

145.5 '

-non

\ (

surfond

96,5

vert

cm

ollection

^M


The Man and

7

the

Myth 1954-1973

work from the later 1950s onwards typically drew upon personal worked with constant repetition of his own motifs and compositions. Picasso was now scarcely concerned to mirror the outside world. Instead, he took his own work as the centre of the creative universe. As in the Twenties and Thirties, this self-reflexive vein led him to the studio itself, and archetypal scenes of the artist at work with his model (cfl. Picasso's

material and also

p.

2 17). as subjects. In

1955 Picasso bought La Californie. a sumptuous 19th-century

villa

splendidly situated on the hills above Cannes, affording sweeping views the

way

upper

across to Golfe-Juan and Antibes.

and

floor,

in the

He

established a studio on the

numerous studio scenes dating from 1955-1956

motifs from that studio blend with the villa's architectural features. fornie's opulent art

nouveau decor, the garden with

trees, the furniture, the tools

of the

artist's trade, all

among

sured and harmonious paintings,

La

ways

(cf. p.

prevailing linearity of walls, easels

which

prompted

detailed, as-

the finest of Picasso's old age,

An

com-

in

was supplied by the The cupboards, windows,

overall formal unity

Californie's interior.

and paintings constituted a loose ensemble, the elements of

weight

lent

La

201).

Cali-

palms and eucalyptus

its

bining simple representation with the techniques of his Cubist period sophisticated

all

to

each other. In the picture done on 30 March 1956.

casso used a simple but witty device to underline his

own

The Sculptor. 1964 Le Sculpteur

Pi-

Aquatint and gouge. 38 x 27.5

cm

creative inventive-

ness, placing at the centre of the studio scene a fresh, virgin canvas awaiting

the

and

artist.

The

also

is

its

pure, white,

empty space

contrasts with the rest of the picture

prime subject. The picture within a picture was one of Picashe grants us access to the very essence of

so's traditional motifs: through

it.

the creative process. Picasso

showing us

is

his power.

He can make

a world

out of nothing.

But side:

as Picasso well

knew, creative power such as his had

its

less

happy

freedom accompanied by a sense of compulsion, the virgin canvas

crying out to be painted on. for the

power. But

still

his studio picture

is

artist to

supply constant proof of his

optimistic,

showing

quish the void: beside the blank canvas, two others

completion are on the

floor.

Not

that

in

that Art

can van-

varying degrees of

work already done can serve

as a sub-

no more than proof of past productiveness. This insight may explain the frenetic output of Picasso's late years. At times he stitute for

present work;

it

is

painted three, four, even five pictures in a single day. driven by the compelling urge to prove himself In his old age. tality

anew over and over

Picasso transferred to his

which was ebbing from

his

life.

again.

art the task

of expressing the

vi-

Hence, for instance, the new graphic

Man (Self-portrait). 1965 Homme assis (Autoportrait) Oil on canvas. 99.5 x 80.5 cm Seated

Estate of Jacqueline Picasso

Courtesy Galerie Louise

Leiris. Paris

193


IB


a/-Âť.Âť

Portrait of Sylvette Portrait de Sylvette

David (II), 1954 David

Pencil on paper, 32 x 24 Paris,

cm

Musee Picasso

Portrait

of Sylvette David (I), David

1

954

Portrait de Sylvette

Pencil on paper, 32 x 24 Paris.

cm

Musee Picasso

of Sylvette David (III), David Pencil on paper, 32 x 24 cm

Portrait

1

954

Portrait de Sylvette

Private collection

Portrait of Sylvette David in a Green Armchair. 1954 Portrait de Sylvette

David aufauteuil

Oil on canvas, 81 x 65

vert

cm

New

York, Private collection

PAGE

194:

Claude Drawing, Francoise and Paloma. 1954

Claude dessinant, Francoise Oil on canvas, Paris,

1

16 x 89

et

Paloma

cm

Musee Picasso

195


Great Reclining

Nude

with Crossed Arms,

1955

Femme nue Oil

allongee

on canvas, 80 x 190

works which, when successful, articulated lifelong fascinations in a succinct and impeccably judged manner - for instance, the 1957 etching series La Tauromaquia. All of the etchings are precise records of carefully-observed

cm

scenes, using just a few dabs and strokes, quickly but perfectly done

Estate of Jacqueline Picasso

(p.

Great Reclining

Femme nue Oil

Nude (The

Voyeurs), 1955

allongee (Les Voyeurs)

on canvas, 80 x 192

cm

Estate of Jacqueline Picasso

204). All but the

title

leaf

to use solid-printed blocks.

were aquatint etchings, which enabled Picasso

The complexity of

the process

is

essentially at

odds with spontaneity or the snapshot recording of bullfight scenes, and is this

incongruity that lends Picasso's series

most economical of means he succeeds

A

in

its

Using the

particular genius.

achieving a

maximum

of

effect.

handful of lines mark the extent of the arena and grandstand; dabs repre-

sent the spectators;

and grey and black patches add up

to the precision-

placed image of a torero, say, driving his banderillas into the neck of an Seated Nude, 1956

Femme nue Oil

it

at-

tacking bull. Picasso's stylistic approach succeeds particularly well in con-

accroupie

on canvas, 130 x 97

Paris. Galeric

cm

Louise Leiris

veying the physical bulk of the

bull, its

dynamic presence, and

its

nimble

movements. 197


Jacqueline in Turkish Costume. 1955 Jacqueline en costume

litre

Oil on canvas, XI

cm

\

65

acqueline Picasso, â&#x20AC;˘

rah rie

I

ouise Leiris, Paris


Women of Algiers Les

Femmes

Oil on canvas,

New

(after Delacroix), 1955

a" Alger (d'apres Delacroix) 1

14 x 146

cm

York, Mrs. Victor W.

Women of Algiers

Ganz

Collection

(after Delacroix), 1955

Les

Femmes

Oil

on canvas, 45.8 x 55.2

a" Alger (d'apres Delacroix)

Private collection

cm

&ha-


A -*_**.

Jacqueline

in the Studio.

Jacqueline dans Oil on canvas.

1

1956

I' atelier

14 x 146

cm

Lucerne. Picasso Collection. Donation

Rosengart

PAGE

201:

"La Californie", Cannes, 1956 de "La Californie" a Cannes

The Studio I.' Atelier

at

Oil on canvas. Paris.

1

14 \ 146

Musee Picasso

The renderings may appear

cm

many

hasty, but in fact Picasso's

images are the pro-

was an interest that united personal experience and art history. Picasso was taking his bearings from Goya, transposing the older painter's classic treatment of the bullfight theme into modern terms and, in the process, proving himself Goya's equal. Simiduct of

years of interest in the subject.

It

lar proof was provided by over a hundred sheet-metal, collapsible sculptures done between 1959 and 1963. The extent to which Picasso was drawing on

his

own work

in these sheet-metal sculptures

can be demonstrated

down

to

details of motif.

The 1961 Football Player figure, seen in

an arc. There baller

would

is

(p.

mid-game, has

is

21

1 )

his left

is

a perfect

arm

example of

raised, his right

this.

The

swung down The

a classical contrapposto in the position of the legs.

plainly about to put his full force into a kick.

strike quite this attitude.

The unstable

in

foot-

However, no player

position recalls a dancer: and

was drawing on studies he had drawn of the Ballets Russes in 1919 and which he had worked on further in the Twenties. Calling the figure a football player is sleight of hand. The trick is made plausible in fact the artist

purely by the painted

shirt, shorts

and boots. Sculpture such as

tended as a mimetic representation of reality; rather, 200

it

this

is

not in-

sets out to pla\ with


And

the basics of visual experience.

of this

art.

deception

At times, Picasso's habitually

is

the fundamental principle

self-referential

mode can seem

herPAGES

metic.

2027203:

The Bathers. 1956

His self-referential habit distinguished the Picasso of old age fundamentally

from

earlier Picassos.

stream of developments in ing

mode was

abstract

art.

He was no longer in the contemporary mainart. Be it in the USA or in France, the prevailof one kind or another. The tragedy of

casso was that these currents in till

1960.

To

art

the general public, he

late Pi-

dominated, indeed smothered the scene

became

a figure to be identified with.

almost a guardian of tradition - quite the opposite of what he intended.

Compared with

the brusque unfamiliarity of a

cessions. Picasso's

work came

to afford a familiar point

to

new

art that

seem comprehensible and

made no conaccessible,

and

of orientation amidst the chaos. Tellingly, his

were immensely popular. In 1954 he had met a young woman. Sylvette David, who sat for him. He did over forty drawings and oils of her: they were very quickly published and seen in reproductions all over the world. Two factors influenced the fame and impact of the series. One was the look of the girl herself, her hair in the pony tail then fashionable, the hallmark of an entire generation of young women. Sylvette pictures (p. 195)

Les Baigneurs Six figures:

wooden

original

Stuttgart. Staatsgalerie Stuttgart from

left:

The Diver (La Plongeuse) 264 x 83.5 x 83.5 cm

Man with Clasped Hands (L Homme aux mains jointesi 213.5 x 73 x 36

cm

The Fountain Man

(L'Homme

fontaine)

227 x 88 x 77.5 cm

The Child (L'Enfant) 136 x 67 x 46

cm

Woman with Outstretched Arms (La Femme aux bras ecartes) 198x74x46 cm The Young Man (Le Jeune Homme) 176

x65 46 cm 201


.*

..


The Bullfighters Enter the Arena ("La Tauromaquia". Paseo de

cuadrillas. Etching.

Capework

(

""La

20 x 30

Tauromaquia".

17).

Suerte de muleta. Etching. 20 x 30

3).

The Banderillas Go In ('La Tauromaquia".

1957

cm

14),

1957

Clavando un Par de banderillas. Etching. 20 x 30

1957

Aiming

cm

the

Deathblow ("La Tauromaquia".

Citando a matar. Etching. 20 x 30

19).

cm

1957

cm

"•

V W-

*"

—»- /«**»- y^i

/ /

The Torero Proclaims the Death of the Ball "I .a Tauromaquia". 2 957. Despues de la Estocada la mucin- del tow Etching. 20 \ 30 cm i

1

nu

).

1

Bullfighting on Horseback ("La Tauromaquia". 26), 1957 el torero

senala

Alanceando a an

Torn. Etching.

20

\

30

cm

».


\

A

The other was that the "Picasso style" rendered the defamiliarization tactics of modern painting accessible. Picasso did both naturalist representa-

The Fall oj Icarus, 1958 La Chute d'Icare Mural.

tions of his sitter real

and abstractive, schematic,

image. Even those

who

disliked

anti-figural renderings of the

deformed figures had

8x10 m de TUNESCO,

Paris, Palais

to

Delegates'

Lobby

acknowledge

He had become the great go-between, easing relations between the shockingly new and established tradition. Everything he did was hailed with rapture. He was now exempt from even the smallest criticism, public comments on Picasso, paeans and panegyrics, tending to make a demi-god of him. Picasso's isolation from the art scene, and the cult that attached to his own and respect Picasso's

artistry.

person, only served to confirm traits that were already his. His

work took on 205


an avowedly universal character. turned to linocuts.

UNESCO

He

He made

engravings on celluloid, and

also agreed to paint a

headquarters in Paris, his

first

work

Reclining

for the delegates' foyer at

commission

to

do a mural since

Femme

What he

painted, in 1958,

was a seaside scene with standing and

reclining figures and one dark figure plunging with outstretched limbs into

1

Oil on canvas, 89 x Paris.

Guernica.

Nude on a Blue Divan. 960

nue couchee sur un divan bleu 1

15.5

Musee National

cm

d'art

Moderne.

Centre Georges Pompidou, Gift of

Louise and Michel Leiris

The Fall of Icarus (p. 205). The central figure evolved plaything, a swallow made of folded paper. Picasso was evi-

the great blue waters:

from a

child's

dently deeply indebted to the simple technique of folding paper;

erned his work

in

also gov-

sheet-metal sculpture. Picasso returned to this motif in a

stage set design he did in 1962 for a Paris let,

it

Opera House production of a

bal-

The Fall of Icarus.

Picasso returned not only to his Starting

From

13

from a single

original, he

December 1954

to 14

on Eugene Delacroix's The

own work

but also to that of old masters.

would produce

entire series of variations.

February 1955 he did fifteen

Women of Algiers from 1832

exotic brightness of the Orient

oil variations

(cf. p. 199).

was handled contrastively and

The

colourfully: Pi-

casso combined subtle illusionist approaches with abstractive methods. Over

few years he extended his paraphrase series considerably. In 1957 he did over fifty variations on Diego Velazquez's Las Meninas (cf. p. 2 14). the next

Seated Nude. 1959

Femme nue

accroupie

Oil on canvas. 146 x

1

14

cm

Private collection

207


Le Dejeuner sur Vherbe (after Manet), 960 Le Dejeuner sur Vherbe (d'apres Manet) 1

Oil

on canvas, 129 x 195

Paris.

cm

Musee Picasso

They were followed by over 150 sketches and drawings, and 27 paintings, done after Manet's Le Dejeuner sur Vherbe (cf. p. 208) from 1959 to 1962. Finally, he did a number of larger works adapting Jacques-Louis David's Rape of the Sabine Women (cf. p. 212 f). The series of 58 very different large-scale oils related to Las Meninas. painted by the Spanish artist Diego Velazquez in 1656-1657 and so titled after the two maids at court included in it. dealt with Picasso's central theme of painter and model. Velazquez's painting

(p.

214)

incomparable

is

meditation upon the historical and societal preconditions of

in its

artistic activity.

The vertical-format rectangular picture shows a gloomy room lit only from windows at the side: the artist's studio. Ten figures are in this space, making a somewhat lost impression: a Spanish princess and her retinue, consisting of two maids-of-honour, two court dwarfs, and a peaceful dog: the painter himself: two servants; and at the very rear, visible through an open door, the chamberlain of the court. Different though the postures and attitudes of these people

Oil on canvas, Paris.

20X

\

Muscc d'Orsay

1

264.5

almost

all

giving their attention to the same place, to

some

vis-a-vis.

863

Thus

the painting unambiguously, albeit subtly, expresses the facts of every-

cm

day

Hdouard Mancl

Le Dejeuner sur Vherbe,

are, they are

life

chical. painter.

The mirror

at

the rear reveals that this

for Velazquez, painter at court. Life at court

is

the king and queen.

was

strictl) hierar-

The composition preserves that hierarchy, and marginalizes the Velazquez showed himself in this work to be the "true painter o\~

ality", as

Picasso put

Picasso

now

to his previous

set

re-

it.

about restructuring that reality

(p.

214. 215). In contrast

procedure when paraphrasing Delacroix's

Women ofAlgiers


composition came first this time, and not last. was conceived programmatically. as an expose of the new subject. Picasso revised the format and upgraded the status of the painter. Everything in this (p. 199). the largest full-scale It

new version has become unambiguous. The

figures are frontally positioned

One will has borne all before it: Picasso's. He is lord of empowered to do whatsoever he chooses. The rival royal power

or in clear profile. his world,

has ceased to matter. The paintings that followed the large-scale opening version of 17 August either deal with parts and details or produce variations

on the horizontal format. Picasso tried to render the chiaroscuro factor in the original Velazquez

through contrasts of darker and lighter shades of colour, but the overall sult

was not convincing.

nothing.

It is

true that he

In the end. his variations

succeeded

in articulating the

version: that the artist occupies a new, society.

The

large composition that

core idea of his

changed position

opened the

re-

on Las Meninas came

series

in

modern,

expressed

to

new

liberal

this idea

Le Dejeuner sur Vherbe. 96 Oil on canvas. 60 x 73 cm 1

powerfully. Picasso, revising the original in terms of colour too, was aiming to

outdo his

illustrious forerunner.

But

to transfer his colourist

concepts to

1

Private collection

UN


Woman with Outstretched Arms. Femme aux bras ecartes

1961

Sheet metal and wire, cut and painted. 183 x 177x72.5 Paris,

cm

Musee Picasso

Football Player. 1961

Footballeur

Cut and painted sheet metal. 58.3 Paris.

Musee Picasso

\ 47.5 \ 14.5

cm


The Rape of the Sabine

Women

(after

David). 1962

the overall composition

was a more complex undertaking. And

in the

end

Picasso conceded defeat. Colour remained of secondary importance, subor-

L'Enlevement des Sabines {d'apres David) Oil on canvas, 97 x 130

dinated to form.

cm

Musee National d'Art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou Paris.

The difference least.

to earlier periods in Picasso's

Taking his bearings from the

and ideas

plied locating incentives

Cubism and

is

striking, to say the

of the past, for Picasso, always im-

- be

it

the odalisques of Ingres for early

or ancient sculpture and baroque paintings for the late

his so-called Classicism. This

peaked

art

work

in Picasso's late

ongoing and extremely

years in his ceramic

(cf.

pp.

fruitful

of the Forties and

process Fifties.

was decorated, was no imitation 174 and 175). It was not a copy of ancient

His ware, and the artwork with which

of a classical original

art

Rose Period

it

storage, cultic or drinking vessels, nor did the decorative style have any-

thing in

common

with the technique or form of black and red vase paint-

ings. Picasso varied the first principles

and translated into a modern idiom

whatever was capable of analogy. His thick-bellied vases with sheer conical

necks were decorated with figures organically adapted

the vessels.

The Rape of the Sabine Women. 1963 /

Enlevement des Sabines

Oil

on canvas,

Boston

i

M

\).

195.5

\

Museum

130

cm

of Fine Arts

Maenads, nymphs and fauns, generously and

and economical

in detail,

Picasso's ceramic great beauty.

art

people the surfaces of the ware.

was one of

classical

harmony,

in

to the

shapes o\

tellingly outlined In its

modernity,

compositions

o\


Picasso did other variations of old masters in the Forties. Even as the Diego Rodriguez de Silva Las Meninas. 1656-1657 Oil

on canvas, 318

x

y

Velazquez

276 cm

Madrid. Museo Nacional del Prado

was raging around

fighting

of Poussin's Bacchanal

(

Paris in 1944. he

1630). In 1947.

was

among

at

work on an adaptation

other things, he modelled a

David and Bathsheba. In 1950 he painted versions of Gustave Courbet's Young Women on the Banks

lithographic series on Lucas Cranach's painting

of the Seine (p. 182) and El Greco's Portrait of a Painter (p. 180). These were followed between 1955 and 1957 by portraits of Jacqueline as Lola of Valence (after Manet's painting), an etching copy of Rembrandt's Man in the

Golden Helmet

Cupid

(

1

(c.

1650), an India-ink drawing after Cranach's Venus

509). and a painting after portraits of El Bobo. the court dwarf, by

Velazquez and Bartolomeo Esteban Murillo. Essentially these works

mained within the parameters (p. 96). after

Le Nain's

laid

down

original, adapting

in

compositions and subjects b\ con-

they bring the past works up to date, and

a tradition stretching

re-

1917 with The Peasants' Repast

centrating attention on particular aspects of them. in that

and

The

in this

variations arc

modern

Picasso was entering

from Delacroix's copies of Rubens

to

van Gogh's paint-

ings after Gustave Dore: one early 20th-century masterpiece of this kind

Matisse's 1915 Variation on a

The paraphrases

Still

was

Life by Jan Davids:, de Heem.

do. however, have the effect of highlighting the increas-

ingly tautological and almost autistic tendency of Picasso's collage-guided


PAGE

214:

Las Meninas

(after Velazquez). 1957

Lei Menines (d'apres Velazquez)

260 cm

Oil on canvas, 194 x

Barcelona.

Museu

Picasso

The Whole Group. 18 September 1957 Study for Las Meninas (31) Oil on canvas. 129 x 161

The Whole Group.

1

33

cm

9 September

957

1

RFI

Study for Las Meninas (32) Oil on canvas, 162 x 130

cm

The Whole Group. 2 October 1957 Study for Las Meninas (33) Oil on canvas. 162 x 130

Iff) ^^""^^Âť

cm

The Whole Group. 3 October 1957 Study tor Las Meninas (34) Oil on canvas. 129 x 161

jaJS^

cm

-vVVI *w-<f>:T?

<

Wjk

Isabel de Velasco. 9 October 1957

Study for Las Meninas Oil on canvas. 65 x 54

(

35

cm

Maria Augustina Sarmiento. 9 October 1957 Study for Las Meninas (36) Oil on canvas. 65 x

54

cm

Maria Augustina Sarmiento and Infanta Margarita Maria. 10 October 1957 Study

forLrt.v

Meninas (37)

Oil on canvas. 92 x 73

cm

Maria Augustina Sarmiento. 10 October 1957 Study for Las Meninas (38) Oil on canvas. 73 x 55

cm

Maria Augustina Sarmiento Study for Las Meninas (39) Oil on canvas.

The Piano.

17

1

15 x 89

.

10 October 1957

cm

October 1957

Stud) for Las Meninas (40) Oil on canvas. 130 x 97

cm

Nicolasico Pertusato. 24 October 1957

Study for Las Meninas (41 Oil

on canvas. 61

x

50

cm

Maria Bdrbola, Nicolasico and the Dog. 24 October 1957

Isabel de Velasco,

Pertusato

Study for Las Meninas (42) Oil on canvas.

1

30 x 96

cm

Maria Bdrbola, Nicolasico and the Dog. 24 October 1957

Isabel de Velasco,

Pertusato

Study for Las Meninas (43) Oil on canvas.

1

30 x 96

cm

L°

and the Dog. 24 October 957 1

Study for Las Meninas (44) Oil on canvas. 130 x 96

Isabel de Velasco 8

V^a\

^

J

~~Wm

k

Isabel de Velasco, Maria Bdrbola, Nicolasico

Pertusato

BI K

-v-

^Jjjfcg!)^^

cm

and Maria Bdrbola.

November 1957

Study for Las Meninas (45) Oil on canvas. 130 x

96

cm 215


repeat itself in the late Fifties. Simply to

art to

metamorphose

a picture

was

not in itself invariably adequate as the informing concept behind hundreds

of works. The high standard Picasso had

could not always be maintained. In period, he

was

set in

many

matching form and content

non had become the raison Picasso had long

Oil on canvas. 130 x 162

cm

of the paintings and studies of the

plainly satisfied with having filled the canvas.

reversal of the priorities of the artist:

Rembrandt and Saskia. 1963 Rembrandt et Saskia

what ought

to

It

was

a trivial

have been the sine qua

d'etre.

become

a classic of

modern

art,

but

still

attempted to

in-

when the Museu Picasso in Barcelona was opened in 1970, prominent members of the Franco regime tried to use the occasion as a means of legitimation. However, their fluence the public reception of his work. For instance,

plans for a state all

ceremony were brought

to

nothing by Picasso,

who

The

Artist

Le Peintre

vetoed

such ideas, wary of affording political enemies any purchase. The

art

and His Model. 963 1

et

son modele

Oil on canvas. 130 \ 162

New

cm

York, Private collection

scene had meanwhile undergone a complete change. The Sixties were a period of great upheaval and transition visual arts. the

new

New

The new departure of the

Realism, while the actionist

in the

Western world, not

least in the

was dominated by Pop Art and legacy of Surrealism was continued in

Sixties

socially critical forms such as the happening.

The

Artist

he Peintre Oil on

and His Model. et

1

963

son modele

cam as.

130 \ 195

cm

Madrid, Museo Nacional Centre de \nc

Reina Sofia


Le Dejeuner sur Vherbe

(after

Manet). 1962

Le Dejeuner sur Vherbe (d'apres Manet) Coloured

linocut. 53.3 x 64.5

cm

was divided. Most of its formal years - indeed, he had invented

Picasso's attitude to contemporary art

him for some of the techniques himself. Time seemed to be coming full circle in the oddest of ways. Thus Picasso, at the end of his life, was squeezed right out to the periphery. On the one hand media acclaim, on the other withrepertoire

had been familiar

drawal from public

life;

to

old age and

its

physical

frailty,

an

art

scene that

demands on him and his art - he was facing formidable challenges. And to capitulate would have been tantamount to throwing in the towel for good. Instead, he riposted with an art of revolt. The art of Picasso's old age articulates the will to survive. From 1963 on. conflicts within and without became ever more visible in his work. He did several hundred studies and paintings on his old subject of The Artist and His Model (p. 217). An intense, indeed obsessive preoccupation with the subject of the artist's identity followed: this was not new in Picasso, but the single-mindedness and energy with which he pursued his subject was un-

made

uninhibited

usual even for him. Contemporaries were staggered by the sheer bulk of his production,

16 the

March

to 5

and the

statistics are

indeed astounding. For example, from

October 1968 he did 347 etchings, from January 1969

to

end of January 1970 no fewer than 167 paintings, and from 15 Decem-

ber 1969 to 12 January 1971 194 drawings. 156 etchings followed from

January 1970 to March 1972. 172 drawings from 21

November

1971 to 18

August 1972. and a further 201 paintings from 25 September 1970

to

June 1972. These figures represent only the works published to date. all this

by a man aged 87

the painter

we

to 91

!

If

we

1

And

consider the endless portrayals of

and model scene, of nudes, of sex, or the

are confronted with an art plainly at

portraits

and so

forth.

odds with aesthetic ideals of creat-

ing beauty. Overhasty painting, blotches and dribbles, mock-primitive figures

dismembered beyond recognition, colours

painful to look

at. all

guarantee that these pictures

that

can be genuinely

come

as a shock.

Bust of a Buste de

Coloured

Woman femme

with Hat. 1962

au chapeau

linocut. 63.5 x 52.5

cm


PAGE

220:

Woman

Pissing. 1965

La Pisseuse Oil on canvas. 195 x 97 cm Paris. Musee National d'Art Moderne. Centre Georges Pompidou. Gift o( Louise and Michel Leiris

PAGE

221:

Seated Nude

Femme

in

an Armchair. 1965

iuic assise

dans un faineidl

Oil on canvas, 166 \ s i

Âť

cm

Courtesy Galerie Louise Leiris. Paris


The

heart of Picasso's concerns in his late

work was

to destroy the

con-

cept of the finished work. Series were no longer intended as attesting evolution towards a to creative

triumphant.

work; they merely documented the basic options available

work. Technique was pared to a minimum: caprice reigned

We

and asserting

are witnessing a creative spirit free of technical constraint

that the traditional

concept of

art is null

and void. Consist-

communicate content in his pictures now. of metamorphosis and costume transformation is

ently enough, Picasso does not

However, the principle

Musketeer (Domenico Theotocopulos van Riyn da Silra). 1967 Mousquetaire Oil on plywood. 101 x 81.5

cm

Budapest, Ludwig Collection

illustrated, especially in paintings

Saskia

(

13/14

March 1963;

p.

from 1963 and 1969.

In

Rembrandt and

216), Picasso has done the lower part of the

male figure two-dimensionally, providing a strong block of black centre of the painting.

pose

in

On

same small Cupid (p. 228

two paintings showing men smoking, with

a

and 229). The brushwork has undergone radical change. picture, linearity of

fore filled with

form

in the

18 and 19 February 1969 he varied the

is

Musketeer with pipe. 1968 In the 18

February

foregrounded, and the colour blocks are there-

broad brushstrokes.

Mousquetaire a Oil on

cam. is.

Pans. Galerie

In

162 1

pipe \

130

cm

ouise Leiris


In that of

1

9 February, the blocks of colour are themselves stressed once

again - though with the crucial difference that

imprecise

movement of

the hand,

is

the act of painting, the

being emphasized. The two paintings

While the motifs

are complementary.

now

of 18 February are linear and

in that

the colours of secondary importance, Picasso proceeds in that of 19 Feb-

ruary in exactly the contrary fashion. bright colours, then, the

He

the canvas with undefined

fills

good draughtsman,

"Suite 347". Plate 6

Mougins, 24 March 1968

cm

Etching, 42.5 x 34.5

"Suite 347". Plate 8

Mougins, 25 March 1968

cm

Etching. 42.5 x 34.5

indicates forms that translate

the colour composition into a figural painting.

The vigorous brushwork and

the seemingly expressive style are masks, to deceive us: they are there to

confuse, to subvert perception.

Things make a similar impression

in the

graphic work. Never before

had Picasso done as many etchings as he did

The command of Picasso

may

the craftsman

was

in the last

years of his

life.

plainly undiminished. This

Many

be the best place to identify Picasso's subtle intentions.

of the

etchings betray formal inconsistencies, with carefully worked areas appearing alongside negligently scrawled details, and there are visible gaps in

Picasso's handling of compositional questions. But the sheer his

supposed

his

work.

The main

slips

is

subject

enough

is

sexuality.

It is

so obsessive that Picasso seems to have

been getting a dirty old man's fantasies out of his system. But truth of the matter is far

number of

to preclude all possibility of spontaneity in

more

in fact the

intractable. Picasso's explicit pictures

were

part of the Sixties rebellion against taboos. In almost all Picasso's erotic pic-

Nude and Smoker. 968 Femme nue dehorn et homme 1

tures, the voyeurist

model

element

is

dominant. The

are almost invariably being observed

kinds of costume

(p.

225).

The

artist

and

his

female nude

by ugly old men

in

various

painter always remains the creator. This fact

Oil on canvas, 162 x 130

a

la

pipe

cm

Lucerne, Galerie Rosengart

225


expresses Picasso's view of

an act of (pro)creation presented to a pub-

art as

incapable of creative endeavour. In view of the intimacy of the act

lic itself

of (pro)creation,

it

is

tantamount

shamelessness

to

if

the urge to expose

is

constantly being satisfied, the private secrets revealed. Picasso rarely ex-

pressed the role of the modern

under constant observation by the om-

artist,

nipresent mass media, with such illuminating force. scrutiny

(i.e.

he

the

is

Picasso himself)

and the

the knight

is

The

painter under public

new

obliged constantly to play

sailor, the circus artiste

"new Rembrandt". He was

roles.

He

and the nobleman, but above

is

all

returning to the time-honoured idea of

the productive, creative person as genius.

The mythologization of Picasso into tended to obscure his work. Time after

a titanic

Hero of Modern Art has

time, the old heroic

casso continues to be perpetuated. Modernist innovation

him

far

beyond what

historically verifiable.

is

He

is

is

stylized into the

figure in a cult of genius that remains with us to this day. true that in his long life Picasso

and

Pi-

It is

major

of course

produced a formidable quantity of work.

His thematic range, however, was artist

image of

attributed to

slight.

Again and again we encounter the

model, bullfights, bathers, figures from classical mythology,

his

Head oj'a Man. Tete

1964

d'homme

Oil on canvas. 61 x

was astounding, but there was a limit to variation in his work. What invariably prevailed was form: his work always evolved from the line, from the principles of the draught-

or portraits. His ability to ring the changes

cm

50

Private collection

sman. For Picasso, sculpture, painting and graphics were not primary categories in their

own

right.

There

is

no autonomy of colour

in Picasso;

nor

do spatial values have any real independence in his work. His sculptural work developed from drawings, establishing spatial presence through illusionist effects.

Picasso's works were links in a chain of experiments. thus

depend largely on the

criteria

Views of Picasso If we were to

involved in the viewing.

judge him by conventional standards, the vastly ambitious scale of his pro-

would be cut down by the fact that the many thousands of studies led to relatively few final works of any substantial complexity. The concept of what constitutes a work of art has itself undergone change. We no longer check to see whether prior intentions have been enacted according to plan. Anything can be a work of art. Yet even by these ductivity and versatility

new

criteria,

Picasso's unusual ouvre

The view of Picasso

unique

is

in extent, if not in diversity.

as the pre-eminent genius of the century

is

due not

least to his willingness to fulfil public expectations of artists. In Henri

Georges Clouzofs revealingly

for instance, the artist demonstrates his

thus to millions:

it

is

"The Mystery of Picasso" (1956), working methods to the camera, and

titled film

an eloquent proof of his approach to the myth. The

ar-

The Family. 1970

La Famille Oil on canvas. Paris.

tist

magus was a role Picasso quite deliberately played. the work of his old age in particular, Picasso presented himself to

62 x

1

30

cm

as

In

shamelessly voyeuristic public as a sively, feverishly

both a

mask and

ding into

new

productive a vital

artist

means of

man

wholly immersed

in his

self-preservation. His work, forever expan-

method. At core he was

Picasso transferred ideas into

PAGE

22S:

Musketeer and Cupid. Mousquetaire

et

1

969

Amor

Oil on canvas. 195.5 x 130

parent factor of conscious strategy. In Picasso's ouvre

real sense,

work. This was

genres, substantiated his image as a universal genius.

tional, logical, consistent

a

of unfailing potency: a compul-

greater interest in relation to Picasso's status in art history

art,

we

is

Of

plainly see a ra-

an intellectual artist. In a

and created unified harmonies

nature and highlight his classical character.

Cologne.

cm

Museum Ludwig

the clearly ap-

of idea and artwork, form and content, which are fundamentally traditional in

1

Musee Picasso

PAGE

229:

Rembrandtesque Figure and Cupid. Personnage rembranesque Oil on canvas. 162 x

1

30

et

1

969

Amour

cm

Lucerne. Picasso Collection, Donation

Rosengart

227


Reclining

Nude and Head. 1973

Fernme nue vouchee

et tete

Oil on canvas, 130 x 195

cm

Private collection

The painting above. Reclining Nude and Head, is the last Picasso worked on. He ap-

In this respect he

plied the

creamy white,

pression,

on the evening of 7 April 1973. The

to brighten the im-

following day. 8 April, he died shortly before

midday. For

this information,

May

am

1973,

1

given to

1970-1972"

the Palais des Papes.

Avignon, where the

Picasso painted were shown.

He

the exhibition,

it

for

which was opened on 23

1973. Picasso's

widow

essentially different

from modern concept

key or explanation

grasped. Picasso's work, by contrast, shows. is

required

is

if

the

The statement

inherently comprehensible. There

is

radical innovation

in

May

lines.

Thus

in

picture, while in

new

Guernica he revived the genre of

LEW.

Head. 1972

ie

Rosengarl

\

50.5

visible.

traditional

historical painting in a

Picasso's true greatness and significance ary and

traditionalist at once.

He gave

a

lie in

new

his dual role as revolution-

vitality to art

reason he became the pre-eminent figure

watercolour, in the final months

rayon on paper, 66

be

form.

Jacqueline later con-

life.

to

Les Demoiselles d 'Avignon he vanquished the representational

preserved the creative presence (outside the museums) of

of his

made

on the one hand but on the other of continuing

1973 have been exhibited or published. Prob-

in

is

is

no gap between abstract

ably Picasso only drew, and perhaps did a

work

whole

last

firmed the information. To date, no oils from

little

art, in

in turn refers

content and concrete form. Uniquely in the 20th century he was capable of

received

hanging

A verbal

at

the picture, not yet dry. immediately before

Picasso's death, to prepare

to the concept.

His work

in

indebted to one of the cur-

ators of the exhibition "Picasso

oils

me

was

which the concept precedes and accompanies the work, which

cm

in

20th-century

even as he its

art.

history.

For

this


'*

^


Pablo Picasso:

A Chronology

1

888/89 Helped

to paint; at the

by his

father,

he begins

age of eight he paints his

first oil.

1

89

1

Picasso's father accepts a position

as art teacher in

moves with Starts local

La Coruha, where he

his family.

grammar

Death of Conchita.

school. Helps his

father with paintings.

1

892

in

1

Admitted

La Coruha and

894

to the is

School of Fine Arts

taught by his father.

Writes and illustrates journals. His

father recognizes Pablo's extraordinary talent,

hands him brush and palette and de-

clares that he will never paint again.

1

895 Moves

the

to

Barcelona and enrols

"La Lonja" School of Fine

Arts,

in

where

his father teaches. Skips the early classes

and passes the entry examination for advanced classes with Pablo Picasso

at the

age of four.

1

Pablo Picasso shortly after his arrival 1

896

large

in

First studio in Barcelona.

"academic"

(p. 14),

1881

distinction.

885

oil.

His

first

first

son of

Don

1

comes from

painter,

Jose

drawing Crafts,

at

the north and teaches

the local School of Fine Arts and

"San Telmo". His mother

is

Andalu-

honourable mention Picasso's birthplace in Malaga. Plaza de

la

Merceded

tion of fine art in

gold medal

884

Birth of his

first sister

Dolores

and Charity

in a

in

money

advanced courses

of San Fernando it

111

is

at

awarded a

Malaga. His

so that Pablo

Madrid. Passes entrance exam-

abandons

898

(pp.

receives an

it

Madrid and

competition

Academy

1

887

in

in the national exhibi-

father's brothers send

can study

(1884-1958), known as Lola.

1

Paints Science

ination for

sian.

1

897

16/17), his second large oil;

Ruiz Blasco (1838-1913) and Dona Maria Picasso Lopez (1855-1939). His father, a

Barcelona

The First Communion

appears in an exhibition.

Pablo Ruiz Picasso born 25 October

Malaga. Spain,

in

1896. aged 15

in

at

the Royal

Madrid, but

in the winter.

with scarlet fever and returns to

Barcelona. Spends a long time with his Birth of his second sister

Concepfriend

cion (1887-1891

).

known

as Conchita.

Manuel

Pallares in the village of

Horta de Ebro and regains his health. Sketches of landscapes.

PAGE

232:

Pablo Picasso. Cannes 1956 Photograph: Lucien Clergue

1

899

Returns to Barcelona. Begins to

fre-

quent the cafe "Els Quatre Gats" (The Four

233


Paris (The Absinthe Drinker, p. 33). with

7]

I

poverty, old age and loneliness as a

more

and more frequent theme. Uses almost exclusively blue and green. Beginning of his

Blue Period. 1

902 End

of his contract with Manach.

Returns to Barcelona. Exhibition

at the

Ber-

the Weill gallery in Paris. Further develop-

ment of blue monochrome

paintings. Re-

turns to Paris for third time in October.

Lives with poet

Max

Jacob. Has to confine

himself to drawing because he lacks the

money

to

buy canvas. Weill exhibition of

"blue" canvases.

1

903

Returns to Barcelona

in January.

Paints over fifty pictures within 14 months,

among them La

Vie (p. 39).

Uses intensive

shades of blue to depict the misery of physical Picasso in Paris. 1904. The words on the photograph are:

"A mes

ehers amis Suzanne

Henri [Bloch]."

et

weakness and old age.

1904 dio

Picasso's final

at 13.

move

Rue Ravignan

Picasso

to Paris. Stu-

in his

studio

at

1

1.

Boulevard de Clichy. winter

1910/11

(until 1909), in the

"Bateaux-Lavoir". Meets Fernande Olivier

makes

Cats) and

friends with artists and in-

who

to

is

be his mistress for the next seven

Makes

etching The Frugal Repast

tellectuals, including the painters Carles Ju-

years.

nyer-Vidal. Isidre Nonell. Joaquim Sunyer

42). Pays frequent visits to the Circus

and Carlos Casagemas. the sculptor Hugue.

drano (where he gets ideas for his pictures

the brothers Fernandez de Soto, and the

of jugglers and circus

poet Jaime Sabartes (later to be his secretary

and lifelong close

friend).

Becomes

paper illustrations and

1900

first

agile".

End of Blue

News-

Shares studio with Casagemas

in

Barcelona. Exhibits about 150 drawings

and the

Period.

1905 Meets Guillaume Leo and Gertrude

Apollinaire and

Stein. Frequently paints

The Family ofSaltim-

banques

(p. 49).

Beginning of Rose Period.

Summer

holiday

in

Schoorl. Holland. First

Picasso

open

Paris and

Casagemas leave

for

a studio in Montmartre.

Visits art dealers,

where he sees works by

Picasso

is

impressed by exhibition the Louvre.

at

Meets

Henri Matisse. Andre Derain and the

art

buys most of his "rose" pictures, thus for the first time enabling Picasso to lead a life free of financial worries.

from

at the

New

Bateau-Lavoir. 1908. with sculptures

Caledonia behind him

Takes Fernande to

his parents in Barcelona, then to

the north of Catalonia,

La

at

"Els Quatre Gats". At the beginning of October Picasso and

906

1

of Iberian sculpture

dealer Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler. Vollard

circus themes, such as

etchings.

The

sculptures. Series of etchings called

Acrobats.

Me-

ac-

quainted with the work of Theophile Steinlen and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec.

"Lapin

artistes)

(p.

Gosol

in

where he paints

Toilette (p. 55). Influence

of Iberian

sculpture on Portrait of Gertrude Stein

(New

York. The Metropolitan

Museum

of Art) and Self-Portrait with Palette (p. 6).

Cezanne. Toulouse-Lautrec. Edgar Degas.

Emile Bonnard

Manach month

et al.

Art dealer Pedro

(p. 18) offers

in

him 150

exchange for

francs a

pictures. Berthe

la

Galette

first

Paris picture.

(p. 22).

Le Moulin de

Departs for Barcelona

and Malaga with Casagemas

in

Self-portrait (p. 60).